Contadnin^ brief zwnd 2v,ccur&.te
accounts of the proper names men-
tioned in classical literature
Edited with Introduction by
Edwzwrd S. Elliy-. A. M,
Author of " Plutarch's Lives," etc.
The Penn Publbhin^ C^ompany
Copyright 1895 by the Woolfall Company
Copyright 1900 by the Penn Tuulishing Compani
The word classic or classical is defined as
pure, refined ; conformed to the best and most
perfect standard; also pertaining to the
ancient Greek and Latin authors, or rendered
famous b}' association with ancient writers, as
" classic ground."
The ancient Romans were divided into six
classes. Those of the highest class were
called classici, and from this the term came
to signify the highest and purest class of
writers in any language, though at first ap-
plied only to the most esteemed Greek and
Whether an ancient writer should be ranked
as a classic is not determined (as it would
seem ought to be the case) by what he wrote,
but by the period in which he wrote. The
classical age of Greek literature begins with
Homer, the earliest Greek writer whose
works are extant, and extends probably to
the time of the Roman emperor Antonine,
although signs of decadence began to appear
about 300 B.C.
The Latin classical period is not so ex-
tended, its earliest writer being Plautus, and
it came to an end about 200 a.d. There are
some, however, who include Claudian, born
near 365 a.d., among the classics.
Humanism is that theory of education
which aims to give a symmetrical develop-
ment to the intellectual and moral powers b}^
means of the study of the classical literature
and arts, or more largely the study of the
classics, or the culture of belles-lettres in
The history of Humanism divides itself
into four distinct periods.
I. The formative period, extending from
the fifth century before to the fifth century
after Christ. H. The period of the Middle
Ages. HI. The Renaissance or revival of
learning, extending from the beginning of
the fourteenth to the end of the eighteenth
century. IV. The period of philological
science, embracing a portion of the eigh-
teenth and the nineteenth centuries.
I. The Formative Period. — The systematic
use of literary studies in education appears to
have begun among the ancients about the
fifth century B.C. The ridiculed sophists
and rhetoricians gave a new direction to
education by their attempt to make it more
practical, thus greatly helping all the arts
connected with literature, — as grammar,
rhetoric, logic, lexicography, etc. Studies
were expanded after the founding of Alex-
andria. The scholarly investigation and ex-
planation of the literary monuments of the
past began and were pressed by the profes-
sors and librarians of Alexandria.
Toward the close of the second century
B.C., the Romans began to investigate Greek
education, and during the following century
the Roman methods were remodeled along
the Greek lines. The third and fourth cen-
turies A.D. may be considered the golden age
of professors. By the close of the fourth cen-
tury a regular system had been formulated,
which was accepted everywhere by gentile
and Christian, and handed down from gener-
ation to generation.
II. The Mediceval Period. — In the fifth cen-
tury A.D., the successive barbarian invasions
of the ancient world began, and the old order
of things was overturned. The Germans
destroyed the gentile world, with its philoso-
phers and teachers. Only Christianity and
education survived. Education was in the
hands of Christians, but it suffered prodigious
losses. Schools and libraries were destroyed ;
scholars decreased, and the civilized world
steadily shrank. The rich and cultivated
provinces of Africa fell into the hands of the
Moslems who overran Spain. The whole
Eastern empire was cut off from the West.
In the fifth and sixth centuries only a few
vestiges of civilization remained in Gaul.
At the close of the sixth and the beginning
of the seventh century, the remote province
of Ireland was the only point where studies
and scholarship had a foothold, and from
that point went out the first impulses for a
revival of the decaying study of literature.
England was the first to respond to the im-
pulse, and her people helped the Irish to carry
it to the Continent. A revival of encyclo-
paedic learning took place in the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries, and led to an investiga-
tion and study of what may be called the
great sources of knowledge.
III. The Renaissance. — France held the in-
tellectual leadership of Europe during the
Middle Ages. In the fourteenth century, it
passed to Italy, and was accompanied by so
remarkable an intellectual revolution that it
is called a " new birth" — renaissance. This
revival was marked by an extraordinary
enthusiasm for the classics. The first man
of the Renaissance, and at the same time the
first modern humanist, was Petrarch, born in
the year 1304, whose pioneer work in clearing
the ground of the " new way" approached the
The appointment of Manuel Chrysoloras, a
Byzantine scholar, as professor of Greek in
Florence, in 1396, brought about as a result a
true revival of Greek studies. From him and
from his pupils descended the increasing
generations of Greek scholars, who during
the fifteenth century made known to western
Europe the great originals and models of all
classical literary art. Every portion of Ital-
ian culture was profoundly modified. The
great discovery of printing about this time
gave a permanence to the Renaissance. The
first printed Latin book to be sent abroad
was Cicero's De Officiis, published in 1465.
The first Greek authors to be printed were
Theocritus and ^sop, which appeared to-
gether about 1480.
Humanism gradually triumphed in France,
and thence conquered Spain early in the
fifteenth century. It made slower progress
among the German nations. Although
Germany was brought into frequent political
contact with Italy during the whole period
of Italian humanism, she hardly felt its in-
fluence until the middle of the fifteenth cen-
tury, but to-day Germany is the chief seat of
IV. PJiilological Science Period. — This peri-
od may be considered as embracing the pres-
ent and an indefinite portion of the future.
The spread of philological science and classi-
cal learning in general, it may be claimed, is
universal among all nations making any pre-
tence to civilization,
E. S. E.
Aby'dos. A city of Asia opposite Sestos in Eu-
rope. Its fame rests upon the loves of Hero
and Leander, and here also Xerxes built his
bridge of boats across the Hellespont. Hero
was a maiden of wondrous beauty, who was
dedicated by her parents to Venus' service.
As soon as she was old enough, she spent all
her time in the temple, ministering to the
goddess, or in a lonely tower by the sea,
where she lived alone with her aged nurse.
Leander, deeply smitten with the charms of
Hero, was in the habit of swimming across
the Hellespont, she displaying a signal for
him. One stormy night, while attempting
the feat, he was drowned. Hero saw the
body the next morning tossing up and down
in the waves at the foot of the tower. In her
grief she threw herself into the sea and per-
ished by his side. Lord Byron, in " The Bride
12 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
of Abydos, " thus alludes to the touching in-
•' The winds are high on Helle's wave,
As on that night of stormy water,
When Love, who sent, forgot to save
The young, the beautiful, the brave,
The lonely hope of Sestos' daughter."
Aby dos. A town of Egypt, where stood the
famous temple of Osiris.
Acade'mi'a. A place surrounded with trees near
Athens, belonging to Academus, from whom
the name is derived. Here Plato opened his
school of philosophy, and from this every
place sacred to learning has ever since been
Acha'tes. -.^neas and Achates were friends.
The devotion of Achates was so unselfish and
exemplary that Fidus Achates became a
Achelo us. The son of Oceanus and Terra, or
Tethys, god of the river of the same name in
Epirus. As one of the numerous suitors of
Dejanira, he entered the lists against Her-
cules, and being inferior, changed himself
into a serpent, and afterwards into an ox.
Hercules broke off one of his horns and de-
feated him, after which, according to some,
he was changed into a river.
Acheron. To separate that portion of Hades re-
served for the punishment of the wicked,
Pluto surrounded it with Phlegethon, a river
of fire, while the Acheron, a deep and black
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 13
stream, had to be passed by all souls before
they reached Pluto's throne and heard his de-
cree. The word Acheron is also used to sig-
nify Hades or hell itself.
Achilles, the son of Peleus and Thetis, was the
bravest of all the Greeks in the Trojan war.
During his infancy. Thetis plunged him in
the Styx, thus making every part of his body
invulnerable except the heel by which she
held him. To prevent him from going to the
Trojan war, Thetis sent him privately to the
court of Lycomedes, where he was disguised
in a .female dress. As Troy could not be
taken without his aid, Ulysses went to the
court of Lycomedes in the habit of a mer-
chant, and exposed jewels and arms for sale.
Achilles, choosing the arms, discovered his
sex, and went to the war. Vulcan made him
a strong suit of armor, which was proof
against all weapons. He was deprived by
Agamemnon of his favorite Briseis, and for
this affront he would not appear on the field
till the death of Patroclus impelled him to
vengeance. He slew Hector, who had killed
Patroclus, and tying his corpse to his war-car,
dragged it three times round Troy. He is
said to have been killed by Paris, who inflicted
a mortal wound in his vulnerable heel with
Actae'on. A famous huntsman, son of Aristseus
and Autonoe, daughter of Cadmus. He saw
Diana and her attendants bathing, for which
14 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
he was changed into a stag and devoured by
his own dogs.
Ac'tium. A town and promontory of Epirus,
famous for the naval victory which Augustus
obtained over Antony and Cleopatra, b.c. 31.
A'des or Hades, The god of hell among the
Greeks ; the same as the Pluto of the Latins.
The word is often used for hell itself by the
ancient poets and in modern writings.
Adher'bal. Son of Micipsa, and grandson of
Masinissa, was besieged at Cirta, and put to
death by Jugurtha, after vainly imploring the
aid of Rome, b.c. 112.
Adme'tus. Son of Pheres and Clymene, king of
Pherse in Thessaly. Apollo, when banished
from heaven, is said to have tended his flocks
for nine years.
Ado'nis, son of Cinyras and Myrrha was the fa-
vorite of Venus. He was fond of hunting,
and was often cautioned not to hunt wild
beasts. This advice he slighted, and at last
was mortally wounded by a wild boar. Venus
changed him into the flower anemone. Pros-
erpine is said to have restored him to life, on
condition that he should spend six months of
the year with her, and the rest of the year
with Venus. This implies the alternate re-
turn of summer and winter. Shakspeare, in
his poem "Venus and Adonis," thus alludes
to the changing of Adonis into a flower : —
** By this the boy that by her side lay kill'd
Was melted like a vapor from her sight,
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 15
And in his blood, that on the ground lay spill'd,
A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with white,
Resembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood,"
Adras'tus, son of Talaus and Lysimache, was
king of Argos. Polynices, being banished
from Thebes by his brother Eteocles, fled to
Argos, where he married Argia, daughter of
Adrastus. The king assisted his son-in-law,
and marched against Thebes with an army.
He was defeated with great slaughter, and
fled to Athens, where Theseus gave him as-
sistance, and was victorious. Adrastus died
from grief, occasioned by the death of his son
Adria'nus. A famous emperor of Rome. He is
represented as an active, learned, warlike,
and austere general. He went to Britain,
where he built a wall between the modern
towns of Carlisle and Newcastle-on-Tyne, to
protect the Britons from the incursions of the
.^di'les. Roman magistrates, who had the
charge of all buildings, baths, and aqueducts,
and examined weights and measures. The
office of an -^dile was honorable, and the
primary step to a more distinguished position
in the State.
.^'geus. Kingof Athens, son of Pandion. Being
desirous of having children, he went to con-
sult the oracle, and on his return stopped at
the court of Pittheus, king of Troezene, who
t6 classical dictionary
gave him his daughter ^thra in marriage.
He directed her, if she had a son, to send him
to Athens as soon as he could lift a stone under
which he had concealed his sword, ^thra
became mother of Theseus, whom she sent
to Athens with his father's sword, ^geus
being at that time living with Medea, the di-
vorced wife of Jason. When Theseus came to
Athens. Medea attempted to poison him, but
he escaped ; and upon showing JEgeus the
sword, discovered himself to be his son.
When Theseus returned from Crete, after the
death of the Minotaur, he omitted to hoist up
white sails as a signal of success, and at sight
of black sails, ^geus. concluding that hjs son
was dead, threw himself into the sea, which,
as some suppose, has since been called the
^gean Sea. ^geus died b.c. 1235.
.^'gis. The shield of Jupiter. He gave it to
Pallas, who placed Medusa's head on it, which
turned into stones all those who gazed at it.
/Egy'ptuSj son of Belus, and brother to Danaus,
gave his fifty sons in marriage to the fifty
daughters of his brother. Danaus. who had
established himself at Argos and was jealous
of his brother, obliged all his daughters to
murder their husbands on the first night of
their nuptials. This was done, Hypermnestra
alone sparing her husband Lynceus. ^gy-
ptus himself was killed by his niece Polyxena.
^lia'nus Claudius. A Roman sophist of Prse-
neste in the reign of Adrian. He taught
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 17
rhetoric at Rome. He wrote treatises on
animals in seventeen books, and on various
other subjects in fourteen books, ^lian died
at the age of sixt5^ a.d. 140.
iEne'as. A Trojan prince, son of Anchises and
Venus. He married Creusa, the daughter of
Priam, and they had a son named Ascanius.
During the Trojan war ^neas behaved with
great valor in defence of Troy. When the
city was in flames he is said to have carried
away his father Anchises on his shoulders,
leading his son Ascanius by the hand, his
wife following them. Subsequently he built
a fleet of twenty ships, with which he set sail
in quest of a settlement. He was driven on
the coasts of Africa, and was kindly received
by Dido, Queen of Carthage, who became
enamored with him ; but he left Carthage by
the order of the gods. He has been praised
for his piety and his submission to the will of
the gods; the term "Pius" is generally ap-
pended to his name.
.^ne'is. The ^neid, a grand poem by Virgil,
the great merit of which is well known. The
author has imitated the style of Homer, and
is by some thought to equal him.
./E'olus, the ruler of storms and winds, was the
son of Hippotas. He reigned over ^olia.
He was the inventor of sails, and a great as-
tronomer, from which the poets have called
him the god of wind.
.£s'chines. An Athenian orator who lived about
l8 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
342 B.C., and distinguished himself by his
rivalship with Demosthenes.
iEs'chylus, a soldier and poet of Athens, son of
Euphorion. He was in the Athenian army at
the battles of Marathon, Salamis. and Plataea ;
but his most solid fame rests on his writings.
He wrote ninety tragedies, forty of which
were rewarded with a public prize. He was
killed by the fall of a tortoise, dropped from
the beak of an eagle on his head, k.c. 456.
iEscula'pius, son of Apollo and Coronis, or as
some say of Apollo and Larissa, daughter of
Phlegias, was the god of medicine. He mar-
ried Epione, and they had two sons, famous
for their skill in medicine. Machaon and Po-
dalirus ; of their four daughters, Hygeia, god-
dess of health, is the most celebrated.
iE'son, son of Cretheus, was l)orn at the same
birth as Pelias. He succeeded his father in
the kingdom of lolchos, but was soon exiled
by his brother. He married Alcimeda, by
whom he had Jason, whose education he en-
trusted to Chiron. ^Vhen Jason reached man-
hood he demanded his father's kingdom from
his uncle, who gave him evasive answers, and
persuaded him to go in quest of the Golden
Fleece. On his return Jason found his father
very infirm, and at his request Medea drew
the blood from ^son's veins and refilled them
with the juice of certain herbs, which restored
the old man to the vigor of youth,
TEsopus. A Phrygian philosopher who, origin-
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY tg
ally a slave, procured his liberty by his ge-
nius. He dedicated his fables to his patron
Croesus. The fables which we have now
under his name doubtless are a collection of
fables and apologues of wits before and after
the age of ^sop, conjointly with his own.
Agamemnon, king of Mycensc and Argos, was
brother to Menelaus, and son of Plisthenes,
the son of Atreus. He married Clytemnestra,
and Menelaus Helen, both daughters of Tyn-
darus, king of Sparta. When Helen eloped
with Paris, Agamemnon was elected com-
mander-in-chief of the Grecian forces invad-
Agesila'us. Of the family of the Proclidse, son
of Archidamus, king of Sparta, whom he suc-
ceeded. He made war against Artaxerxes,
king of Persia, with success, but in the midst
of his conquests he was called home to oppose
the Athenians and Boeotians. He passed
over in thirty days that tract of country which
had taken up a whole year of Xerxes' expedi-
tion. He defeated his enemies at Coronea,
but sickness interfered with his conquests,
and the Spartans were beaten in every en-
gagement till he again appeared at their head.
He died 362 years b.c.
Agrip pa, M. Vipsanius. A celebrated Roman
who obtained a victory over S. Pompey, and
favored the cause of Augustus at the battles
of Actium and Philippi, where he behaved
with great valor. In his expeditions in Gaul
20 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
and Germany he obtained several victories,
but refused the honor of a triumph, and
turned his attention to the embellishment of
Rome and the raising of magnificent build-
ings, among them the Pantheon. Augustus
gave him his daughter Julia in marriage. He
died universally lamented, at Rome, aged
fifty-one, B.C. 12.
Agrip'pa. A son of Aristobulus, grandson of the
great Herod. He was popular with the Jews,
and it is said that while they were flattering
him with the appellation of god he was struck
with death, a.d. 43. His son of the same
name was with Titus at the siege of Jerusa-
lem, and died a.d. 94. It was before him
that St. Paul pleaded. There were a number
of others of the same name, but of less celeb-
A jax, son of Telamon and Periboea, or Eriboea,
was one of the bravest of the Greeks in the
Trojan war. After the death of Achilles,
Ajax and Ulysses both claimed the arms of
the dead hero, which were given to Ulysses,
Some say that he was killed in battle by
Paris, but others record that he was murdered
Alari'cus. A famous king of the Goths who plun-
dered Rome in the reign of Honorius. He
was greatly respected for his valor, and dur-
ing his reign he kept the Roman empire in
continual alarm. He died after a reign of
twelve years, a.d. 410. He was buried in the
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 21
bed of a river which had been turned from its
course for the reception of his corpse, in order
that it might be said that no one should tread
on the earth where he reposed. The circum-
stance is thus alluded to by one of our own
poets : —
" But ye the mountain stream shall turn,
And lay its secret channel bare,
And hollow, for your sovereign's urn,
A resting-place for ever there;
" Then bid its everlasting springs
Flow back upon the king of kings;
And never be the secret said
Until the deep give up its dead."
Albion, son of Neptune and Amphitrite, came
into Britain, where he established a kingdom,
and introduced astrology and the art of build-
ing ships. Great Britain is called "Albion"
Alcae'us. A celebrated lyric poet of Mitylene in
Lesbos, about 600 years before the Christian
era. He fled from a battle, and the armor
in which he left the field was hung up in the
temple of Minerva as a monument of his dis-
grace. He was enamoured of Sappho. Of
his works only a few fragments remain.
Alces'te or Alcestis, daughter of Pelias, married
Admetus. She, with her sisters, put her
father to death that he might be restored to
youth and vigour by Medea, who had prom-
ised to ettect this by her enchantments. She,
92 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
however, refused to fulfil her promise, on
which the sisters fled to Admetus, who mar-
Alcibi'ades. An Athenian general, famous for
his enterprise, versatile genius, and natural
foibles. He was a disciple of Socrates, whose
lessons and example checked for a while his
vicious propensities. In the Peloponnesian
war he encouraged the Athenians to under-
take an expedition against Syracuse. He
died in his forty-sixth year. B.C. 404.
Alcme'na. Daughter of Electrion, king of Argos.
Her father promised her and his crown to
Amphitryon if he would revenge the death of
his sons who had been killed by the Tele-
boans. In the absence of Amphitryon, Jupi-
ter assumed his form and visited Alcmena,
who, believing the god to be her lover, re-
ceived him with joy. Amphitryon on his re-
turn ascertained from the prophet Tiresias
the deception which had been practiced.
After the death of Amphitryon, Alcmena mar-
ried Rhadamanthus. Hercules was the son
of Jupiter and Alcmena.
Alcy'one or Halcy'one, daughter of ^olus, mar-
ried Ceyx, who was drowned as he was going
to consult the oracle. The gods apprised
Alcyone in a dream of her husband's fate,
and when she found his body washed ashore
she threw herself into the sea. and she and
her husband were changed into birds.
Alec to. One of the Furies. She is represented
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 23
with her head covered with serpents, and
breathing vengeance, war, and pestilence.
Alexander, surnamed the Great, was son of
Philip and Olympias. He was born b.c. 355,
on the night on which the famous temple of
Diana at Ephesus was burnt. This event,
according to the magicians, was a prognostic
of his future greatness, as well as the taming
of Bucephalus, a horse which none of the
king's attendants could manage. Philip, it
is recorded, said, with tears in his eyes, that
his son must seek another kingdom, as that
of Macedonia would not be large enough for
him. He built a town, which he called Alex-
andria, on the Nile. His conquests were ex-
tended to India, where he fought with Porus.
a powerful king of the country, and after he
had invaded Scythia. he retired to Babylon
laden with spoils. His entry into the city
was predicted by the magicians as to prove
fatal to him. He died at Babylon in his
thirty-second year, after a reign of twelve
years and eight months of continual success,
B.C. 323. There were a number of others of
the same name, but of less celebrity.
Althae'a, daughter of Thestius and Eurythemis,
married CEneus, king of Calydon, by whom
she had many children, among them being
Meleager. When he was born the Parca; put
a log of wood on the fire, saying, as long as
it was preserved the life of the child would be
prolonged. The mother took the wood froiij
24 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
the flames and preserved it, but when Melea-
ger killed his two uncles, Althaea, to revenge
them, threw the log in the fire, and when it
was burnt Meleager expired. Althaea then
Amaryl'lis. The name of a countrywoman in
Virgil's Eclogues. Some commentators have
supposed that the poet spoke of Rome under
this fictitious name.
Amaz'ones or Amazonides. A nation of famous
women who lived near the river Thermodon
in Cappadocia. All their lives were employed
in wars and manly exercises. They founded
an extensive empire in Asia Minor along the
shores of the Euxine.
Ambra'cia. A city of Epirus, the residence of
King Pyrrhus. Augustus, after the battle of
Actium, called it Nicopolis. Lord Byron thus
alludes to it in the second canto of "Childe
" Ambracia's gulf behold, where once was lost
A world for woman, lovely, harmless thing !
In yonder rippling bay, their naval host
Did many a Roman chief and Asian king
To doubtful conflict, certain slaughter bring."
Amphiara'us, son of Oicleus and Hypermnestra,
was at the chase of the Calydonian boar, and
accompanied the Argonauts in their expedi-
tion. He was famous for his knowledge of
Amphic tyon, son of Deucalion and Pyrrha,
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 25
reigned at Athens after Cranaus. Some say
the deluge happened in his age.
Amphic'tyon, the son of Helenus, who first es-
tablished the celebrated Council of the Am-
phictyons, composed of the wisest and most
virtuous men of some cities of Greece.
Amphi'on, son of Jupiter and Antiope. He cul-
tivated poetry, and made such progress in
music that he is said to have been the inven-
tor of it, and to have built the walls of Thebes
by the sound of his lyre.
Amphitrite. A daughter of Oceanus and Tethys,
who married Neptune. She is sometimes
called Salatia. She was mother of Triton, a
Amphitryon. A Theban prince, son of Alcaeus
and Hipponome. His sister Anaxo married
Electryon, king of Mycenae, whose sons were
killed in battle by the Teleboans. Electryon
gave his daughter Alcmena to Amphitryon
for avenging the death of his sons.
Anachar'sis, a Scythian philosopher 592 years b. c. ,
who, on account of his wisdom, temperance,
and knowledge, has been called one of the
seven wise men. He has rendered himself
famous among the Ancients by his writings,
his poems on war, the laws of the Scythians,
Anac'reon. A famous lyric poet of Teos, in
Ionia, favored by Polycrates and Hippar-
chus, son of Philostratus He was of intem-
perate habits and fond of pleasure. Some of
a6 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
his odes are extant, and the elegance of his
poetry has been the admiration of ever}' age
and country. He lived to the age of eighty-
five, and after a life of pleasure was choked
with a grape-stone. He flourished b.c. 532.
The Odes have been translated into English
by Moore, Cowley, and others.
Anadyom'ene. A famous painting by Apelles of
Venus rising from the sea.
Anaxag oras. A Clazomenian philosopher, who
disregarded wealth and honors to indulge
his fondness for meditation and philosophy.
He applied himself to astronomy, and ob-
tained a knowledge of eclipses. He used to
say he preferred a grain of wisdom to heaps
of gold. He ^yas accused of impiety and
condemned to die, but he ridiculed the sen-
tence, which he said had already been pro-
nounced on him by nature. He died at the
age of seventy-two. li.c. 42S.
Anaxar'ete. A girl of Salamis, who so arro-
gantly rejected the addresses of Iphis. a youth
of ignoble birth, that he hanged himself at
her door. .She saw the spectacle without
emotion, and was changed into stone. Mr.
Wiffen makes allusion to the circumstance in
his translation of Garcilasso de la Vega:
•' Klse tremble at the fate forlorn
Of Anaxarete, who spurn'd
The weeping Iphis from her gate;
Who, scoffing long, relenting late,
Was to a statue turn'd."
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 27
Anchi'ses. A son of Capys and Themis. He
was so beautiful that Venus came down from
heaven on Mount Ida to enjoy his company,
^neas was the son of Anchises and Venus,
and was entrusted to the care of Chiron the
Centaur. When Troy was taken, Anchises
had become so infirm that ^neas had to carry
him through the flames upon his shoulders,
and thus saved his life.
Andromache. Daughter of Eetion, king of
Thebes. She married Hector, son of Priam,
and was the mother of Astyanax. Her part-
ing with Hector, who was going to battle, is
described in the Iliad, and has been deemed
one of the most beautiful passages in that
great work. Pope's translation of the Iliad
(book 6) describes with great pathos and
beauty the parting of Hector from his wife
and child. The passage is too long for quo-
tation, but this quatrain from it shows the
style : —
" Thus having spoke, th' illustrious chief of Troy
Stretch'd his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy;
The babe clung crying to his nurse's breast,
Scared at the dazzling helm and nodding crest."'
Andromeda. A daughter of Cepheus, king of
Ethiopia, and Cassiope. She was promised
in marriage to Phineus when Neptune drowned
the kingdom and sent a sea monster to ravage
the country, because Cassiope had boasted
. . that she was fairer than Juno and the Nerei-
des. The oracle of Jupiter Ammon was con-
a8 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
suited, but nothing could stop the resentment
of Neptune except the exposure of Andromeda
to the sea monster. She was accordingly tied
to a rock, but at the moment that the monster
was about to devour her, Perseus, returning
• from the conquest of the Gorgons, saw her,
and was captivated with her beauty. He
changed the monster into a rock by showing
Medusa's head, and released Andromeda and
Anthropophagi. A people of Scythia who fed
on human flesh. They lived near the country
of the Messagetie. Shakspeare makes Othello,
in his speech to the Senate, allude to the
Anthropophagi thus :—
" The cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders."
Antigone. A daughter of CEdipus, king of
Thebes. She buried, by night, her brother
Polynices, against the orders of Creon, who
ordered her to be buried alive. She, how-
ever, killed herself on hearing of the sentence.
The death of Antigone is the subject of one
of the finest tragedies of Sophocles.
Antig'onus. One of Alexander's generals, who,
on the division of the provinces after the
king's death, received Pamphylia, Lycia, and
Phrygia. Eventually his power became so
great that Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, and
Lysimachus combined to destroy him. He
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY -29
gained many victories over them, but at last
was killed in battle at the age of eighty, b.c.
301. There were others of the same name,
but much less conspicuous.
Antin'ous. A youth of Bithynia of whom the
emperor Adrian was so extremely fond that,
at his death, he erected a temple to him, and
wished it to be believed that he had been
changed into a constellation.
Anti'ochus, surnamed Soter, was son of Seleucus
and king of Syria. He made a treaty of alli-
ance with Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of
Egypt. He wedded his stepmother Stratonice.
He was succeeded by his son Antiochus II. ,
who put an end to the war which had begun
with Ptolemy, and married his daughter Ber-
enice, but being already married to Laodice,
she, in revenge, poisoned him. Antiochus,
the third of that name, surnamed the Great,
was king of Syria, and reigned thirty-six
years. He was defeated by Ptolemy Philo-
pater at Raphia. He conquered the greater
part of Greece, and Hannibal incited him to
enter on a crusade against Rome, He was
killed 187 years before the Christian era. An-
tiochus Epiphanes, the fourth of the name,
was king of Syria after his brother Seleucus.
He behaved with cruelty to the Jews. He
reigned eleven years, and died unregretted.
There were many others of the same name of
Anti'ope, daughter of Nycteus, king of Thebes,
3^ CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
and" Polyxo, was beloved by Jupiter.' "Am*
phion and Tethus were her offspring.
Antip'ater, son of lolaus, was a soldier under
King Philip, and raised to the rank of a
general under Alexander the Great. When
Alexander went to invade Asia, he left Antip-
ater supreme governor of Macedonia. He
has been suspected of giving poison to Alex-
ander to advance himself in power.
Antoninus, surnamed Pius, was adopted by the
Emperor Adrian, whom he succeeded. He
was remarkable for all the virtues forming a
perfect statesman, philosopher, and king. He
treated his subjects with affability and hu-
manity, and listened with patience to every
complaint brought before him. He died in
his seventy-fifth year, after a reign of twenty-
three years, A. D. i6o.
Anto'nius, Marcus. Mark Antony, the triumvir,
distinguished himself by his ambitious views.
When Julius Cassar was killed in the senate
house, Antony delivered an oration over his
body, the eloquence of which is recorded in
Shakspeare's tragedy of Julius Caesar. An-
tony had married Fulvia, whom he repudi-
ated to marry Octavia, the sister of Augustus.
He fought by the side of Augustus at the bat-
tle of Philippi, against the murderers of Julius
Caesar. Subsequently he became enamored
with Cleopatra, the renowned queen of Egypt,
and repudiated Octavia to marry her. He
was utterly defeated at the battle of Actiura,
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY ^J
f : • and stabbed himself. He died m -the fifty -
sixth year of his age, r.. < . 30. Shakspeare,
in his noble tragedy— Antony and Cleopatra,
—makes Antony appeal to his attendant,
Eros, to slay him, who refuses, when Antony
falls on his own sword. The reader is re-
ferred to the fourth act of the play, where
Antony, defeated and heart-broken, addresses
his attendant :
" Unarm, Eros; the long day's task is done,
And we must sleep."
Anto nius, Ju lius,son of the famous triumvir An-
tony, by Fulvia, was consul with Paulus
Fabius Maximus. He was surnamed Afri-
canus, and put to death by order of Augustus,
but some say he killed himself.
Anto'nius, M. Gni pho. A poet of Gaul who
taught rhetoric at Rome. Cicero and other
illustrious men frequented his school. There
were a number of others of the same name,
but of less repute.
Apelles. A celebrated painter of Cos, or, as
others say, of Ephesus ; son of Pithius. He
lived in the age of Alexander the Great, who
forbade any one but Apelles to paint his por-
trait. He was so absorbed in his profession
that he never allowed a day to pass without
employing himself at his art ; hence the
proverb of Nulla dies sine lined. His most
perfect picture was Venus Anadyomene,
which was not quite finished when he died.
33 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
He painted a picture in which a horse was a
prominent feature, and so correctly was it
delineated that a horse passing by it neighed,
supposing it to be alive. He was ordered by
Alexander to paint a portrait of one of
his favorites — Campaspe. Apelles became
enamored with her and married her. He
only put his name to three of his pictures — a
sleeping Venus, Venus Anadyomene, and an
Alexander. The proverb, Ne siitor ultra
crepidaifi, has been used in reference to him
by some writers.
Aphrodite. The Grecian name for Venus, from
the Greek word a<^poQ, froth, because Venus is
said to have been born from the froth of the
Apic'ius. A famous gourmand in Rome. There
were three of this name, all noted for their
A'pis. One of the ancient kings of Peloponnesus,
son of Phoroneus and Laodice. Some say that
Apollo was his father, and that he was king
of Argos. whilst others called him king of
Sicyon, and fix the time of his reign above
200 years earlier. Varro and others have sup-
posed that Apis went to Egypt with a colon}'-
of Greeks, and that he civilized the inhabitants
and polished their manners, for which they
made him a god after death, and paid divine
honors to him under the name of Serapis.
Apis. A god of the Egyptians, worshiped
under the form of an ox. Some say that Isis
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 33
and Osiris are the deities worshiped under
this name, because they taught the Egyptians
Apollo. Son of Jupiter and Latona; called also
Phcebus. He was the god of the fine arts
and the reputed originator of music, poetry,
and eloquence. He had received from Jupiter
the power of knowing futurity, and his oracles
were in repute everywhere. As soon as he
was born he destroyed with his arrows the
serpent Python, which Juno had sent to per-
secute Latona ; hence he was called Pythius.
He was not the inventor of the lyre, as some
have supposed, but it was given to him by
Mercury, who received in return the famous
, Caduceus. He received the surnames of
Phoebus, Delius. Cynthius, Paean, Delphicus,
etc. He is in sculpture generally represented
as a handsome young man with a bow in his
hand, from which an arrow has just been dis-
Appianus. An historian of Alexandria, who
flourished ad. 123, His Universal History,
which consisted of twenty-four books, was a
history of all the nations conquered by the
Ap'pius Clau'dius. A decemvir who obtained his
power by force and oppression. He grossly
insulted Virginia, whom her father killed to
save her from the power of the tyrant.
Arcadia. A district of Peloponnesus, which has
been much extolled by the poets. It was
34 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
famous for its mountains. The inhabitants
were for the most part shepherds, who lived
upon acorns. They were skillful warriors and
able musicians. Pan lived chiefly among
Archilochus. A poet of Paros, who wr-ote ele-
gies, satires, odes, and epigrams. He lived
B.C. 68 5.
Archimedes. A famous geometrician of Syra-
cuse who invented a machine of glass that
represented the motion of the heavenly bodies.
When Marcellus, the Roman consul, besieged
Syracuse, Archimedes constructed machines
which suddenly raised into the air the ships
of the enemy, which then fell into the sea and
were sunk. He also set fire to the ships with
burning-glasses. When the enemy were in
possession of the town, a soldier, not know-
ing who he was, killed him. B.C. 212.
Arethu'sa, a nymph of Elis, daughter of Oceanus,
and one of Diana's attendants. As she re-
turned one day from hunting she bathed in
the Alpheus stream. The god of the river
was enamored of her, and pursued her over
the mountains, till Arethusa, ready to sink
from fatigue, implored Diana to change her
into a fountain, which the goddess did.
Ar'go. The name of the famous ship which car-
ried Jason and his companions to Colchis,
when they went to recover the Golden Fleece.
Argonau'tae. The Argonauts, those ancient he-
roes who went with Jason in the Argo to
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 35
Colchis to recover the Golden Fleece, about
seventy-nine years before the capture of Troy,
The number of the Argonauts is not exactly
Ar'gus. A son of Arestor, whence he is some-
times called Arestorides. He had a hundred
eyes, of which only two were asleep at one
time. Juno set him to watch lo. whom
Jupiter had changed into a heifer, but Mer-
cury, by order of Jupiter, slew him. by lulling
all his eyes to sleep with the notes of the lyre.
Juno put the eyes of Argus in the tail of the
peacock, a bird sacred to her.
Ariad ne, daughter of Minos, second king of
Crete, and Pasiphse. fell in love with Theseus,
who was shut up in the labyrinth to be de-
voured by the Minotaur. She gave Theseus
a clue of thread by which he extricated him-
self from the windings of the labyrinth. After
he had conquered the Minotaur he married
her, but after a time forsook her. On this,
according to some authorities, she hanged
herself. According to other waiters, after
being abandoned by Theseus. Bacchus loved
her, and gave her a crown of seven stars,
which were made a constellation.
Ari'on. A famous lyric poet and musician, son
of Cyclos of Methymna in Lesbos. He went
into Italy with Periander. tyrant of Corinth,
where he gained much wealth by his profes-
sion. Afterward he wished to revisit the
place of his nativity, and he embarked in a
36 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
ship, the sailors of which resolved to kill him
for the riches he had with him. Arion en-
treated them to listen to his music, and as
soon as he had finished playing he threw him-
self into the sea. A number of dolphins had
been attracted by the sweetness of his music,
and it is said that one of them carried him
safely on its back to T^narus. whence he went
to the court of Periander, who ordered all the
sailors to be crucified.
Aristae'us. Son of Apollo and Cyrene, famous
for his fondness for hunting. He married
Autonoe, the daughter of Cadmus, Actaeon
being their son. He was after death wor-
shiped as a demigod.
Aristar chus. A celebrated grammarian of
Samos, disciple of Aristophanes. He lived
the greatest part of his life at Alexandria.
.He wrote about 800 commentaries on different
authors. He died in his seventy-second year,
Aristi'des. A celebrated Athenian, son of Lysi-
machus, in the age of Themistocles, whose
great temperance and virtue procured for him
the name of the "Just." He was rival to
Themistocles, by whose influence he was ban-
ished for ten years, i?.c. 484. He was at the
battle of Salamis, and was appointed to be
chief commander with Pausanias against
Mardonius, whom they defeated at Plataia.
Aristip'pus, the elder, a philosopher of Cyrene, a
disciple of Socrates, and founder of the Cy-
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 37
Aristogi'ton and Harmo'dius. Two celebrated
friends of Athens, who, by their joint efforts,
delivered their country from the tyranny of
the Pisistratidse, B.C. 510.
Aristophanes. A celebrated comic poet of
Athens, son of Philip of Rhodes. He wrote
fifty-four comedies, of which eleven have
come down to us. He lived b.c. 434. and
lashed the vices of the age with a masterly
Aristof eles. A famous philosopher, son of Ni-
comachus. born at Stagira. He went to
Athens to hear Plato's lectures, where he
soon signalized himself by his genius. He
has been called by Plato the philosopher of
truth, and Cicero complimented him for his
eloquence, fecundity of thought, and univer-
sal knowledge. He died in his sixty-third
year. b.c. 322. As he expired he is said to
have exclaimed : Causa caiisarian miserere
mei, which sentence has since become famous,
and is by some attributed to Cicero. The
term Stagirite has been applied to Aristotle
from the name of his birthplace. Pope, in
his "Essay on Criticism," thus alludes to him
under this name : —
'* And rules as strict his labor'd work confine,
As if the Stagirite o'erlooked each line."
Artaxerx'es the First succeeded to the kingdom
of Persia after Xerxes. He made war against
the Bactrians, and reconquered Egypt, which
38 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
had revolted. He was remarkable for his
equity and moderation.
Artaxerx'es the Second. King of Persia, sur-
named Mnemon. His brother Cyrus endeav-
ored to make himself king in his place, and
marched against his brother at the head of
100,000 Barbarians and 13,000 Greeks. He
was opposed by Artaxerxes with a large army,
and a bloody battle was fought at Cunaxa,
in which Cyrus was killed and his forces
Artemis. The Greek name of Diana. Her festi-
vals, called Artemesia, were celebrated in
several parts of Greece, particularly at Delphi.
Asca'nius, son of ^neas and Creusa, was saved
from the flames of Troy by his father, whom
he accompanied in his voyage to Italy. He
was afterward called lulus.
Aspa'sia. Daughter of Axiochus, born at Meli-
tus. She came to Athens, where she taught
eloquence. Socrates was one of her scholars.
She so captivated Pericles by her accomplish-
ments that he made her his wife. The con-
duct of Pericles and Aspasia greatly corrupted
the morals of the Athenians, and caused
much dissipation in the State.
Aspa'sia. A daughter of Hermotimus of Phocaea,
famous for her personal beauty. She was
priestess of the sun, and became mistress to
Astar'te. A powerful divinity of Syria, the same
as the Venus of the Greeks. She had a
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 39
famous temple at Hierapolis in Syria, which
was attended by 300 priests,
Astrae'a. A daughter ©f Astrseus, king of Arca-
dia, or, according to others, daughter of Titan
and Aurora. Some make her daughter of
Jupiter and Themis. She was called Jus-tice,
of which virtue she was the goddess.
Asty'anax. A son of Hector and Andromache.
He was very j^oung when the Greeks besieged
Troy, and when the city was taken his mother
saved him in her arms from the flames. Ac-
cording to Euripides he was killed by Men-
Atalan'ta. Daughter of Schoeneus, king of
Scyros. According to some she was the
daughter of Jasus, or Jasius, and Clymene,
but others say that Menalion was her father.
She determined to live in c-elibacy, but her
beauty gained her many admirers, and to free
herself from their importunities she proposed
to run a race with them. As she was almost in-
vincible in running, her suitors, who entered
the lists against her, were defeated, till Hip-
pomenes, the son of Macareus, proposed him-
self as an admirer. Venus gave him three
golden apples from the garden of the Hesper-
ides, and with these cDucealed about him he
entered the lists to race against Atalanta. As
the race proceeded he dropped the apples,
which she stopped to pick up, thus ena ng
Hippomenes to arrive first at the goal, and
obtain her in marriage.
40 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
A'te. Daughter of Jupiter, and goddess of all
evil. She raised such discord amongst the
gods that Jupiter banished her from heaven,
and sent her to dwell on earth, where she
incited mankind to evil thoughts and actions.
Athana'sius. A bishop of Alexandria, celebrated
for his determined opposition to Arius and his
doctrines. He died a.d. 373, after filling the
archiepiscopal chair for forty-seven years.
The famous creed which is named after him
is no longer supposed to have been written by
him, and its authorship remains in doubt.
Atlas. One of the Titans, son of lapetus and
Clymene. He married Pleione, daughter of
Oceanus (or of Hesperis according to some
writers). He had seven daughters, who were
called the Atlantides.
A'treus. A son of Pelops and Hippodamia, was
king of Mycenae. His brother Chrysippus
was of disgraceful birth, and Hippodamia
wished to get rid of him, and urged Atreus
and another of her sons, Thyestes, to murder
him, which, on their refusal, she did herself.
Atreus retired to the court of Eurystheus,
king of Argos, and succeeded to his throne.
At ticus, T. Pomponius. A celebrated Roman
knight, to whom Cicero wrote a number of
letters, containing the general history of the
age. He retired to Athens, where he endeared
himself to the citizens, who erected statues to
him in commemoration of his virtues. He
died at the age of seventy-seven, B.C. 32.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 4I
At'tila. A celebrated king of the Huns, who in-
vaded the Roman empire in the reign of Va-
lentinian, with an army of half a million of
men. He laid waste the provinces, and
marched on Rome, but retreated on being
paid a large sum of money. He called him-
self the "Scourge of God," and died a.d, 453,
of an effusion of blood, on the night of his
Augustus, Octavia'nus Caesar, emperor of
Rome, was son of Octavius, a senator, and
Accia, sister to Julius Csesar. He was asso-
ciated in the triumvirate with Antony and
Lepidus, and defeated the armies of Brutus
and Cassius at Philippi. Octavia, the sister
of Augustus, married Antony after the death
of his wife Fulvia. Octavia, however, was
slighted for the charms of Cleopatra, which
incensed Augustus, who took up arms to
avenge the wrongs of his sister, and at the
great battle of Actium (b.c. 31), the forces of
Antony and Cleopatra suffered a disastrous
Aurelia'nus, emperor of Rome, was austere and
cruel in the execution of the laws and in his
treatment of his soldiers. He was famous for
his military character, and his expedition
against Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, gained
him great honors. It is said that in his vari-
ous battles he killed 800 men with his own
hand. He was assassinated near Byzantium,
42 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Aurel'lius, M. Antoninus, surnamed "the philos-
opher," possessed all the virtues which should
adorn the character of a prince. He raised to
the imperial dignity his brother L. Verus,
whose dissipation and voluptuousness were as
conspicuous as the moderation of the philos-
opher. During their reign the Quadi, Par-
thians, and Marcomanni were defeated.
Verus died of apoplexy, and Antoninus sur-
vived him eight years, dying in his sixty -first
year, after a reign of nineteen years and ten
Auro'ra. A goddess, daughter of Hyperion and
Thia or Thea. She is generally represented
by the poets as sitting in a chariot and open-
ing with her fingers the gates of the east,
pouring dew on the earth, and making the
flowers grow. The Greeks call her Eos.
Bacchus was son of Jupiter and Semele, the
daughter of Cadmus. He was the god of
wine, and is generally represented crowned
with vine leaves. He is said to have married
Ariadne after she had been forsaken by The-
Belisa'rius. A celebrated general who, in the
reign of Justinian, emperor of Constantinople,
renewed the victories which had rendered the
first Romans so distinguished. He died,
after a life of glory, suffering from royal
ingratitude, 565 years before the Christian
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 43
Beller'ophon, son of Glaucus, king of Ephyre,
and Eurymede, was at first called Hipponous.
He was sent by lobates, king of Lycia, to
conquer the monster Chimsera. Minerva as-
sisted him in the expedition, and by the aid
of the winged horse Pegasus he conquered
the monster and returned victorious. After
sending him on other dangerous adventures,
lobates gave him his daughter in marriage
and made him successor to his throne.
Bello'na, goddess of war, was daughter of Phorcys
and Ceto ; called by the Greeks Enyo, and is
often confounded with Minerva. She pre-
pared the chariot of Mars when he was going
to war, and appeared in battles armed with a
whip to animate the combatants, and holding
Be'lus, one of the most ancient kings of Babylon,
about 1800 years before the age of Semiramis,
was made a god after death, and was wor-
shiped by the Assyrians and Babylonians.
He was supposed to be the son of the Osiris
of the Egyptians. The temple of Belus was
the most ancient and magnificent in the
world, and was said to have been originally
the tower of Babel.
Berenice. A daughter of Philadelphus, who
married Antiochus, king of Syria, after he
had divorced his former wife Laodice.
Bereni'ce. The mother of Agrippa, whose name
occurs in the history of the Jews as daughter-
in-law of Herod the Great. A number of
others of minor celebrity were known by the
Bi'on. A philosopher of Scythia who rendered
himself famous for his knowledge of poetry,
music, and philosophy. Another of the same
name was a Greek poet of Smyrna who wrote
pastorals. He was a friend of Moschus, who
says that he died by poison about 300 years
Boadice'a. A famous British queen who rebelled
against the Romans and was defeated, on
which she poisoned herself. Her cruel treat-
ment by the Romans is the subject of an ode
Bo'reas. The name of the north wind blowing
from the Hyperborean mountains. According
to the poets, he was son of Astrseus and
Aurora. He was passionately fond of Hya-
Bren'nus, A general of the Galli Senones, who
entered Italy, defeated the Romans, and
marched into the city. The Romans fled into
the Capitol, and left the city in possession of
the enemy. The Gauls climbed the Tarpeian
rock in the night, and would have taken the
Capitol had not the Romans been awakened
by the cackling of some geese, on which they
roused themselves and repelled the enemy.
Bri'a'reus. A famous giant, son of Ccelus and
Terra. He had a hundred hands and fifty
heads, and was called by men by the name of
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 45
Brutus, L. Junius. Son of M. Junius and Tar-
quinia. When Lucretia killed herself, b c.
509, in consequence of the brutality of Tar-
quin, Brutus snatched the dagger from the
wound and swore upon the reeking blade im-
mortal hatred to the royal family, and made
the people swear they would submit no longer
to the kingly authority. His sons conspired
to restore the Tarquins, and were tried and
condemned before their father, who himself
attended their execution. Mr. John Howard
Payne, the American dramatist, has written
a tragedy, of which Brutus is the hero.
Bru'tus, Mar cus Ju nius, father of Caesar's mur-
derer, followed the part)' of Marius, and was
conquered by Pompey, by whose orders he
was put to death.
Bru'tus, Mar cus Ju nius, the destroyer of Caesar,
conspired, with many of the most illustrious.
citizens of Rome, against Caesar, and stabbed
him in Pompey 's Basilica. The tumult fol-
lowing the murder was great, but the con-
spirators fled to the Capitol, and by proclaim-
ing freedom and liberty to the populace, for
the time established tranquillity. Antony,
however, soon obtained the popular ear, and
the murderers were obliged to leave Rome,
Brutus retired into Greece, where he gained
many friends. He was soon pursued by An-
tony, who was accompanied by the young
Octavius. The famous battle of Philippi fol-
lowed, in which Brutus and his friend Cassius.
46 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
who commanded the left wing of the army,
were totally defeated. Brutus fell on his own
sword, B.C. 42, and was honored with a mag-
nificent funeral by Antony. Plutarch relates
that Caesar's ghost appeared to Brutus in his
tent before the battle of Philippi warning him
of his approaching fall. Shakspeare, in his
tragedy of Julius Caesar, makes Antony speak
of Brutus as " the noblest Roman of them all, "
adding, in reference to his character: —
" His life was gentle; and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, 'This was a man.' "
Bucephalus. A horse of Alexander's, so fre-
quently named by writers that the term has
become proverbial. Alexander was the only
person that could mount him, and he always
knelt down for his master to bestride him.
Ca'cus, a famous robber, son of Vulcan and
Medusa, represented as a three-headed mon-
ster vomiting flames. He resided in Italy,
and the avenues of his cave were covered
with human bones. When Hercules returned
from the conquest of Geryon, Cacus stole
some of his cows, which Hercules discovering,
he strangled Cacus.
Cadmus; son of Agenor, king of Phoenicia, and
Telephassa, or Agriope, was ordered by his
father to go in quest of his sister Europa,
whom Jupiter had carried away. His search
proving fruitless, he consulted the oracle of
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 47
Apollo, and was told to build a city where he
saw a heifer stop in the grass, and call the
country around Bceotia. He found the heifer,
as indicated by the oracle. Requiring water,
he sent his companions to fetch some from a
neighboring grove. The water was guarded
by a dragon, who devoured those who were
sent for it, and Cadmus, tired of waiting,
went himself to the place. He attacked the
dragon and killed it, sowing its teeth in the
ground, on which a number of armed men
rose out of the earth. Cadmus threw a stone
among them, and they at once began fight-
ing, and all were killed except five, who as-
sisted him in building the city. Cadmus in-
troduced the use of letters in Greece— the
alphabet, as introduced by him, consisting of
Cadu'ceus. A rod entwined at one end with two
serpents. It was the attribute of Mercury,
and was given to him by Apollo in exchange
for the lyre.
Cae'sar. A surname given to the Julian family
in Rome. This name, after it had been dig-
nified in the person of Julius Caesar and his
successors, was given to the apparent heir of
the empire in the age of the Roman emperors.
The first twelve emperors were distinguished
by the name of Caesar. They reigned in this
order — Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius,
Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitel-
lius, Vespasian. Titus, and Domitian. Sue-
48 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
tonius has written an exhaustive history of
the Caesars. C. Julius Csesar, the first em-
peror of Rome, was son of L. Caesar and Au-
relia, the daughter of Cotta. He was de-
scended, according to some accounts, from
lulus, the son of ^neas. His eloquence pro-
cured him friends at Rome, and the generous
manner in which he lived equally served to
promote his interest. He was appointed for
five years over the Gauls. Here he enlarged
the boundaries of the Roman empire by con-
quest, and invaded Britain, which till then
was unknown to the Romans. The corrupt
state of the Roman senate, and the ambition
of Caesar and Pompe}', caused a civil war.
Neither of these celebrated Romans would
endure a superior, and the smallest matters
were grounds enough for unsheathing the
sword. By the influence of Pompey a decree
was passed to strip Caesar of his power. An-
tony, as tribune, opposed this, and went to
Caesar's camp with the news. On this Caesar
crossed the Rubicon, which was the boundary
of his province. The passage of the Rubicon
was a declaration of war, and Caesar entered
Italy with his army. Upon this Pompey left
Rome and retired to Dyrrachium, and Caesar
shortly afterwards entered Rome. He then
went to Spain, where he conquered the parti-
sans of Pompey, and on his return to Rome
was declared dictator, and soon afterward
consul. The two hostile generals met in the
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 49
plains of Pharsalia, and a great battle ensued,
B.C. 48. Pompey was defeated and fled to
Egypt, where he was slain. At length Caesar's
glory came to an end. Enemies had sprung
up around him, and a conspiracy, consisting
of many influential Romans, was formed
against him. Conspicuous among the con-
spirators was Brutus, his most intimate friend,
who, with others, assassinated him in the
senate house in the ides of March, b.c. 44, in
the fifty-sixth year of his age. He wrote his
Commentaries on the Gallic wars when the
battles were fought. This work is admired
for its elegance and purity of style. It was
after his conquest over Pharnaces, king of
Pontus, that he made use of the words, which
have since become proverbial, vent, vidz, vici,
illustrative of the activity of his operations.
Shakspeare's tragedy of Julius Caesar, in the
third act of which he is assassinated, uttering
as his last words, "£"/ iu Brute f Then fall
Caesar" — is devoted to the conspiracy and its
results, ending with defeat and death of
Brutus and Cassius at Philippi.
Caligula, a Roman emperor, was son of Ger-
manicus by Agrippina. He was proud, wan-
ton, and cruel. He was pleased when disas-
ters befel his subjects, and often expressed a
wish that the Romans had but one head that
he might have the pleasure of striking it off.
He had a favorite horse made consul and
adorned it with the most valuable trappings
50 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
and ornaments. The tyrant was murdered.
A.D. 41, in his twenty-ninth year, after a reign
of three years and ten months.
Calli'ope. One of the Muses, daughter of Jupiter
and Mnemosyne, who presided over eloquence
and heroic poetry.
Cal'ydon. A city of ^tolia. where (Eneus, the
father of Meleager, reigned. During the
reign of CEneus Diana sent a wild boar to
ravage the country on account of the neglect
which had been shown of her divinity by the
king. All the princes of the age assembled
to hunt the Calydonian boar. Meleager killed
the animal, and gave the head to Atalanta, of
whom he was enamored.
Calypso. One of the Oceanides, or one of the
daughters of Atlas according to some writers.
When Ulysses was shipwrecked on her coasts
she received him with hospitality, and offered
him immortality if he would remain with her
as a husband, which he refused to do, and
after seven years' delay he was permitted to
depart from the island where Calypso reigned.
Camby'ses, king of Persia, was the son of Cyrus
the Great. He conquered Egypt, and was so
disgusted at the superstition of the Egyptians
that he killed their god Apis and plundered
Camil'lus, L. Fu rius. A celebrated Roman,
called a second Romulus from the services he
rendered his country. He was banished for
distributing the spoils he had obtained at
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 51
Veii. During his exile Rome was besieged
by the Gauls under Brennus. The besieged
Romans then elected him dictator, and he
went to the relief of his country, which he de-
livered after it had been some time occupied
by the enemy. He died B.C. 365.
Campus Mar tius. A large plain without the
walls of Rome, where the Roman youth
were instructed in athletic exercises and learnt
to throw the discus, hurl the javelin, etc.
Can'nae. A village of Apuleia, where Hannibal
defeated the Roman consuls ^mylius and
Varro. ];.c. 216.
Capitoli num. A celebrated temple and citadel
at Rome on the Tarpeian rock.
Caracalla, son of the emperor Septimius Severus,
was notorious for his cruelties. He killed his
brother Geta in his mother's arms, and at-
tempted to destroy the writings of Aristotle.
After a life made odious by his vices he was
assassinated, a.d. 217, in the forty -third year
of his age.
Carac tacus. A king of the Britons, who was con-
quered by the Romans and taken prisoner to
Carthago. Carthage, a celebrated city of Africa,
the rival of Rome, and for a long period the
capital of the country, and mistress of Spain,
Sicily, and Sardinia. The time of its founda-
tion is unknown, but it seems to be agreed
that it was built by Dido about 86g years be-
fore the Christian era, or, according to some
52 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
writers, 72 or 73 years before the foundation
of Rome. It had reached its highest glory in
the days of Hamilcar and Hannibal.
Cassan'der, son of Antipater, made himself mas-
ter of Macedonia after his father's death,
where he reigned for eighteen years.
Cassan dra, daughter of Priam and Hecuba, was
passionately loved by Apollo, who promised
to grant her whatever she might require, and
she obtained from him the power of seeing
into futurity. Some say she received the gift
of prophecy, with her brother Helenus, by
being placed when young one night in the
temple of Apollo, where serpents were found
wreathed round their bodies and licking their
ears, which gave them a knowledge of futur-
ity. She was allotted to Agamemnon in the
division of the spoils of Troy, and was slain
by Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wife.
Cas'sius, C. A celebrated Roman who became
famous by being first quaestor to Crassus in
his expedition against Parthia. He married
Junia, the sister of Brutus, and joined Brutus
in the conspiracy formed to assassinate Csesar,
after which he returned to Philippi with
Brutus, and commanded one wing of the
army in the famous battle fought there. On
the defeat of his forces he ordered one of his
freedmen to kill him, and he perished by the
sword which had inflicted a wound on Cajsar.
He was called by Brutus "the last of all the
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 53
Castalius Fons, or Casta lia. A fountain of
Parnassus sacred to the Muses.
Castor and Pollux were twin brothers, sons of
Jupiter and Leda. Mercury carried them to
Pallena, where they were educated. As soon
as they arrived at manhood they embarked
with Jason in quest of the Golden Fleece. In
this expedition they evinced great courage.
Pollux defeated and slew Amycus in the com-
bat of the Cestus, and was afterward consid-
ered to be the god and patron of boxing and
wrestling. Castor distinguished himself in
the management of horses.
Catili na, L. Ser gius, a celebrated Roman, de
scended from a noble family. When he had
squandered his fortune he secretly meditated
the ruin of his country, and conspired with
many Romans as dissolute as himself to extir-
pate the senate, plunder the treasures, and
set Rome on fire. This plot, known as the
Catiline conspiracy, was unsuccessful. The
history of it is written by Sallust. Catiline
was killed in battle u.c. 63.
Ca'to, Marcus, was great-grandson of the censor
Cato. The early virtues that appeared in his
childhood seemed to promise that he would
become a great man. He was austere in his
morals and a strict follower of the tenets of
the Stoics. His fondness for candor was so
great that his veracity became proverbial. In
the Catilinian conspiracy he supported Cicero.
and was the chief cause of the capital punish-
54 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
ment which was inflicted on some of the con-
spirators. He stabbed himself after reading
Plato's treatise on the immortality of the
soul, B.C. 46, in the fifty-ninth year of his
age. Addison has familiarized us with a por-
tion of the history of the great Roman in his
noble tragedy of "Cato," in which occurs — in
the fifth act — the well-known soliloquy on the
immortality of the soul. Pope wrote the pro-
logue to the play, which he commences with
the familiar couplet : —
" To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart."
Catullus, C, or Q. Vale rius. A poet of Verona
whose compositions are the offspring of a
luxuriant imagination. He was acquainted
with the most distinguished people of his age.
He directed his satire against Csesar, whose
only revenge was to invite him to a sumptu-
Cel'sus, a physician in the age of Tiberius, who
wrote eight books on medicine, besides trea-
tises on agriculture, rhetoric, and military
Centau'ri. A people of Thessaly, half men and
half horses. They were the offspring of Cen-
taurus and Stilbia.
Centumviri. The members of a court of justice
at Rome. Though originally 105 in number,
they were known as Centumvirs, and this
name they retained when they were increased
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 55
Cer'berus. A dog of Pluto. According to Hesiod
he had fifty heads, but according toother my-
thologists he had three only. He was placed
at the entrance to the infernal regions to pre-
vent the living from entering, and the inhab-
itants of the place from escaping.
Ce'res, the goddess of corn and harvests, was
daughter of Saturn and Vesta. She was the
mother of Proserpine, who was carried away
by Pluto while she was gathering flowers.
Chaerone'a, a city of Boeotia celebrated for a great
battle fought there in which the Athenians
were defeated by the Boeotians, b.c. 447, and
for the victory which Philip of Macedonia ob-
tained there over the confederate armies of
the Thebans and Athenians, b.c. 338. It was
the birthplace of Plutarch. Milton in one of
his sonnets alludes to the place : —
" That dishonest victory,
At Chaeronea fatal to liberty,
Killed with report that old man eloquent."
Isocrates is the "old man eloquent" thus al-
Cha'ron. A god of the infernal regions, son of
Nox and Erebus, who conducted the souls of
the dead in a boat over the rivers Styx and
Cheops. A king of Egypt, after Rhampsinitus,
famous for building pyramids.
Chimse'ra. A celebrated monster which continu-
ally vomited flames. It was destroyed by
56 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Chi'ron. A centaur, half a man and half a horse,
son of Philyra and Saturn. He was famous
for his knowledge of music, medicine, and
shooting, and taught mankind the use of
plants and medicinal herbs.
Chrysos'tom. A bishop of Constantinople who
died A.D. 407. He was a great disciplinarian,
and by severely lashing the vices of his age
he made many enemies.
Cic'ero, M. T., born at Arpinum, was son of a
Roman knight and lineally descended from
the ancient kings of the Sabines. In youth
he displayed many abilities, and was taught
philosophy by Philo, and law by Mutius Scse-
vola. He applied himself with great dili-
gence to the study of oratory and was distin-
guished above all the speakers of his time in
the Roman Forum. He signalized himself in
opposing Catiline, whom he publicly accused
of treason against the State, and whom he
drove from the city. After a number of vicis-
situdes of fortune he was assassinated, B.C.
43, at the age of sixty-three.
Cincinna'tus, L. Q. A celebrated Roman, who
was informed as he plowed in the fields that
the senate had chosen him to be dictator. On
this he left the plow and repaired to the field
of battle, where his countrymen were opposed
by the Volsci and Alqui. He conquered the
enemy, and entered Rome in triumph.
Cir'ce. A daughter of Sol and Perseis, celebrated
for her knowledge of magic and venomous
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 57
herbs. She was carried by her father to an
island called ^aea. Ulysses on his return
from the Trojan war visited her coasts, and
his companions were changed, by her potions,
into swine. Ulysses, who was fortified
against enchantments by an herb which he
had received from Mercury, demanded of
Circe the restoration of his companions to
their former shape : she complied with his
wishes, and eventually permitted him to de-
part from her island.
Claudia'nus. A celebrated poet, in the age of
Honorius, who is considered by some writers
to equal Virgil in the majestic character of
Claudius, T. Drusus Nero, son of Drusus, be-
came emperor of Rome after the death of
Caligula. He went to Britain, and obtained
a triumph for victories achieved by his gen-
erals. He suffered himself to be governed
by favorites whose avarice plundered the State
and distracted the provinces. He was poi-
soned by Agrippina. who wished to raise her
son Nero to the throne.
Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, daughter of Ptolemy
Auletes, was celebrated for her beauty. An-
tony became enamored of her and married
her, ignoring his vows to Octavia, the sister
of Augustus. He gave her the greatest part
of the eastern provinces of the Roman empire.
This caused a rupture between Augustus and
Antony, and these two famous men met at
58 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Actium, when Cleopatra, by flying with sixty
ships, ruined the battle for Antony, and he
was defeated. Cleopatra destroyed herself by
applying an asp to her breast.
Cli'o. The first of the Muses, daughter of Jupiter
and Mnemosyne. She presided over history.
Cloaci na. A goddess of Rome who presided
over the Cloacae, which were large recepta-
cles for the filth of the whole city.
Clo'tho, the youngest of the three Parcae, who
were daughters of Jupiter and Themis, was
supposed to preside over the moment of birth.
She held the distaff in her hand and spun the
thread of life.
Clytemnes tra. A daughter of Tyndarus, king
of Sparta, and Leda. married Agamemnon,
king of Argos, in whose absence in the Tro-
jan war she misconducted herself with his
cousin ^gysthus. On the return of Aga-
memnon, Clytemnestra murdered him, as well
as Cassandra whom he had brought with him.
After this Clytemnestra ascended the throne
of Argos. In the mean time her son Orestes,
after an absence of seven years, returned, re-
solved to avenge the death of his father Aga-
memnon. On an occasion when ^gysthus
and Clytemnestra repaired to the Temple of
Apollo, Orestes, with his friend Pylades,
Clyt'ia or Clyt ie. A daughter of Oceanus and
Tethys, beloved by Apollo. She was changed
into a sunflower.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 59
Codes, P. Horatius. A celebrated Roman who
alone opposed the whole army of Porsenna at
the head of a bridge while his companions
were cutting off the communication with the
other shore. When the bridge was destroyed,
Codes, though wounded by the darts of the
enemy, leapt into the Tiber and swam across
it, armed as he was. For his heroism a
brazen statue was raised to him in the Temple
of Vulcan. Lord Macaulaj', who has written
a noble poem on this heroic deed of Horatius
Codes, says, "There are several versions of
the story, and these versions differ from each
other in points of no small importance." Ac-
cording to his version Horatius had two com-
panions who stood by his side defending the
bridge ; these were Spurius Lartius and Her-
minius. The final quatrain of the poem rec-
ords how —
" With weeping and with laughter
Still is the story told,
How well Horatius kept the bridge,
In the brave days of old."
Co'drus. The last king of Athens, son of Melan-
thus. When the Heraclida? made war against
Athens, the oracle said that the victory would
be granted to that nation whose king was
killed in battle. The Heraclidse on hearing
this gave orders to spare the life of Codrus,
but the patriotic king disguised himself, and
engaging with one of the enemy, was killed.
The Athenians obtained the victory, and
6o CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Codrus was regarded as the savior of his
Coe'lus or Ura'nus. An ancient deity supposed
to be the father of Saturn, Oceanus, and
Colchis or Corchos. A country of Asia famous
for the expedition of the Argonauts, and as
being the birthplace of Medea.
Collati nus, L. Tarquin'ius. A nephew of Tar-
quin the Proud. He married Lucretia. He,
with Brutus, drove the Tarquins from Rome.
Colossus. A celebrated brazen image at Rhodes,
which was considered to be one of the seven
wonders of the world.
Com'modus, L. Aure'lius Antoni nus, son of M.
Antoninus, succeeded his father in the Roman
empire. He was naturally cruel and fond of
indulging his licentious propensities. I^esir-
ous of being likened to Hercules, he adorned
his shoulders with a lion's skin, and carried
a knotted club in his hand. He fought with
the gladiators, and boasted of his skill in kill-
ing wild beasts in the amphitheater. He was
strangled by a wrestler in the thirty-first year
of his age, a.i;. iq2.
Co'mus. The god of revelry, feasting, and noc-
turnal amusements. He is represented as a
drunken young man with a torch in his
Concordia. The goddess of peace and concord
at Rome, to whom Camillus raised a temple
in the Capitol.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 6l
Confucius. A Chinese philosopher, as much
honored among his countrymen as if he had
been a monarch. He died about 499 years
Co'non. A famous general of Athens, son of
Timotheus. He was made governor of all the
islands of the Athenians, and was defeated in
a naval battle by Lysander. He defeated the
Spartans near Cnidos, when Pisander, the
enemy's admiral, was killed. He died in
prison B.C. 393.
Constan tia. A grand-daughter of the great
Constantine, who married the Emperor Gra-
Constanti nus, surnamed the Great from the
greatness of his exploits, was son of Constan-
tius. It is said that as he was going to fight
against Maxentius, one of his rivals, he saw
a cross in the sky with the inscription, In hoc
vi7ice. From this he became a convert to
Christianity, ever after adopting a cross for
his standard. He founded a city where old
Byzantium formerly stood, and called it Con-
stantinopolis. There he kept his court, and
made it the rival of Rome in population and
magnificence. He died a.d. 337, after a reign
of thirty-one years of the greatest glory.
Constan tius Chlo rus, son of Eutropius, and
father of the great Constantine. He obtained
victories in Britain and Germany. He be-
came the colleague of Galerius on the abdica-
tion of Diocletian, and died a.d. 306, bearing
62 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
the reputation of being brave, humane, and
Consul. A magistrate at Rome with regal au-
thority for the space of a year. There were
two consuls, who were annually chosen in the
Campus Martins. The first two were L. Jun.
Brutus and L. Tarquinius Collatinus.
Corin'na. A celebrated woman of Thebes, whose
father was Archelodorus. It is said that she
obtained a poetical prize five times against
the competitorship of Pindar.
Coriola'nus. The surname of C. Martins, from
his victory over Corioli. After a number of
military exploits, and many services to his
country, he was refused the consulship. He
was banished, and went to the Volsci, where
he met with a gracious reception from Tullus
Aufidius, whom he advised to make war
against Rome, marching with the Volsci as
general. His approach alarmed the Romans,
who sent his mother and bis wife to meet him
and appease his resentment against his coun-
trymen, which with difficulty they succeeded
in doing. Shakspeare has made his history
the sul)ject of the tragedy of "Coriolanus,"
which concludes with the assassination of the
hero by Tullus Aufidius and his attendants.
Come lia. A daughter of Scipio Africanus,
famous for her learning and virtues, and as
being the mother of the Gracchi, Tiberius and
Caius Gracchus. Her husband was T. Sem-
CLASSICAL DiCTtONARY 6^
Cras sus, M. Licin ius. A celebrated Roman,
who by educating slaves and selling them, be-
came very wealthy. He was made consul
with Pompey, and was afterward censor, and
formed one of the first triumvirate, his associ-
ates in it being Pompey and Caesar. In the
hope of enlarging his possessions he left
Rome, crossed the Euphrates, and hastened
to make himself master of Parthia. He was
met by Surena the Parthian general, and in
the battle which ensued 20,000 of the Romans
were killed and 10,000 made prisoners. Cras-
sus surrendered, and was put to death b.c. 53.
Creon, king of Corinth, was son of Sisyphus.
He promised his daughter Glauce to Jason,
who had repudiated Medea. To revenge her-
self on her rival, Medea sent her a present of
a dress covered with poison. Glauce put it
on, and was seized with sudden pain. Her
body took fire, and she expired in the greatest
agony. The house in which she was was also
consumed, and Creon and his family shared
Cre'on. King of Thebes, whose territories were
ravaged by the Sphinx. Creon offered his
crown to any one who would explain the
enigmas proposed by the Sphinx. CEdipus
solved the riddles, and ascended the throne of
CrcE sus, the fifth and last of the Mermnadse, who
reigned in Lydia, was the son of Alyattes,
and was considered the richest man in the
64 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
world. His court was an asylum for learn-
ing, and ^sop, the famous fable writer, with
other learned men, lived under his patronage.
"As rich as Croesus," has become a proverb.
Cupi do, god of love, son of Jupiter and Venus,
is represented as a winged infant, naked,
armed with a bow and arrows. On gems and
ornaments he is represented generally as
amusing himself with some childish diver-
sion. Cupid, like the rest of the gods, as-
sumed different shapes, and we find him in
the ^neid putting on, at the request of his
mother, the form of Ascanius, and going to
Dido's court, where he inspired the queen
Cur'tius, M. A Roman who devoted himself to
the service of his country, about 360 j'-ears
B.C., by leaping, on horseback and fully
armed, into a huge gap in the earth at the
command of the oracle.
Cyb ele. A goddess, daughter of Coelus and
Terra, and wife of Saturn. She is supposed
to be the same as Ceres. Rhea, Ops, Vesta,
etc. According to Diodorus, she was the
daughter of a Lydian prince. On her birth
she was exposed on a mountain, where she
was tended and fed by wild beasts, receiving
the name of Cybele from the mountain where
her life had been preserved.
Cyclopes. A race of men of gigantic stature,
supposed to be the sons of Ctielus and Terra.
They had only one eye, which was in the cen-
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 65
tre of the forehead. According to Hesiod
they were three in number, and named Arges,
Brontes, and Steropes.
Cyrus. A king of Persia, son of Cambyses,
and Mandane, daughter of Astyages, king of
Media. Xenophon has written the life of
Cyrus, and delineates him as a brave and vir-
tuous prince, and often puts in his mouth many
of the sayings of Socrates.
Cy'rus the younger was the son of Darius Nothus
and the brother of Artaxerxes, the latter suc-
ceeding to the throne at the death of Nothus.
Cyrus was appointed to the command of
Lydia and the sea-coasts, where he fomented
rebellion and levied troops under various pre-
tenses. At length he took the field with an
army of 100,000 Barbarians and 13,000 Greeks
under the command of Clearchus. Artaxerxes
met him with 900,000 men near Cunaxa. The
engagement ended fatally for Cyrus, who was
killed, 401 years b.c.
Daedalus, an Athenian, was the most ingenious
artist of his age ; he was the inventor of the
wedge and many other mechanical instru-
ments. He made a famous labyrinth for
Minos, king of Crete, but incurred the dis-
pleasure of Minos, who ordered him to be
confined in the labyrinth. Here he made
himself wings with feathers and wax, and
fitted them to his body, adopting the same
course with his son Icarus who was the com-
66 CLASSICAI- DICTIONARY
panion of his confinement. They mounted
into the air, but the heat of the sun melted the
wax on the wings of Icarus, and he fell into
the ocean, which after him has been called
the Icarian Sea. The father alighted safely
at Cumae, where he built a temple to Apollo.
Dan'ae, daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos, and
Eurydice. Jupiter was enamored with her,
and they had a son, with whom Danae was
exposed in a boat on the sea by her father.
The winds carried them to the island of Seri-
phus, where she was saved by some fisher-
men, and carried to Polydectes, king of the
place, whose brother, named Dictys, educated
the child, who was called Perseus, and kindly
treated the mother.
Dana'ides. The fifty daughters of Danaus, king
of Argos, who married the fifty sons of their
uncle ^gyptus. Danaus had been told by
the oracle that he would be killed by a son-in-
law, and he made his daughters promise to
slay their husbands immediately after mar-
riage. All of them fulfilled their father's
wishes except one, Ilypermnestra, who spared
her husband Lynceus.
Daph'ne. A daughter of the River Peneus, or of
the Ladon, and the goddess Terra, of whom
Apollo became enamored. Daphne fled to
avoid the addresses of this god, and was
changed into a laurel.
Dar'danus. A son of Jupiter, who killed his
brother Jasius to obtain the kingdom of
CLASSICAT, DICTIONARY 67
Etruria. He built the city of Dardania, and
was reckoned to have been the founder of
Dari us. A noble satrap of Persia, son of Hys-
taspes, who usurped the crown of Persia after
the death of Cambyses. Darius was twenty-
nine years old when he ascended the throne,
and he soon distinguished himself by his mil-
itary prowess. He besieged Babylon, which
he took after a siege of twenty months. He
died B.C. 4S5.
Dari us, the second king of Persia of that name,
ascended the throne of Persia soon after the
murder of Xerxes. He carried on many wars
with success, aided by his generals and his
son Cyrus the younger. He died b.c. 404,
after a reign of nineteen years.
Dari us. The third king of Persia of that name.
He soon had to take the field against Alexan-
der, who invaded Persia. Darius met him
with an enormous army, which, however, was
more remarkable for the luxuries indulged in
by its leaders than for military courage. A
battle was fought near the Granicus, in which
the Persians were easily defeated, and an-
other conflict followed near Issus, equally
fatal to the Persians. Darius escaped and
assembled another powerful army. The last
and decisive battle was fought at Arbela, Al-
exander being again victorious. When the
fight was over Darius was found in his chariot
covered with wounds and expiring, b.c. 331.
68 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Dejani'ra. A daughter of CEneus, king of ^tolia.
Her beauty procured her many admirers, and
her father promised to give her in marriage
to him who should excel in a competition of
strength. Hercules obtained the prize, and
Del phi. A town of Phocis at the southwest side
of Mount Parnassus. It was famous for a
temple of Apollo, and for an oracle celebrated
in every age and country.
Demetrius. A son of Antigonus and Stratonice,
surnamed Poliorcetes, destroyt:?' of to7i'?is.
At the age of twenty-two he was sent by his
father against Ptolemy, who had invaded
Syria. He was defeated at Gaza, but soon
afterward obtained a victory. The greater
part of his life was passed in warfare, his for-
tunes undergoing many changes. He was-
distinguished for his fondness of dissipation
when in dissolute society, and for military
skill and valor in the battle-field. He died
Demetrius. Surnamed Safer, king of Syria.
His father gave him as a hostage to the
Romans. After the death of his father, Se-
leucus Philopator, Antiochus Epiphanes
usurped the throne of Syria, and was suc-
ceeded by his son Antiochus Eupator. De-
metrius procured his liberty, and established
himself on the throne, causing Eupator to be
put to death.
Demetrius. Son of Soter, whom he succeeded
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 69
after he had driven from the throne a usurper,
Alexander Bala. Demetrius gave himself up
to luxury, and suffered his kingdom to be
governed by his favorites, thus becoming
odious to his subjects. He was at last killed
by the governor of Tyre, where he had fled
Demetrius Phale'reus. A disciple of Theophras-
tus, who gained such influence over the Athe-
nians by his eloquence and the purity of his
manners, that he was elected decennial archon,
B.C. 317. He embellished the city, and ren-
dered himself popular by his munificence, but
his enemies plotted against him, and he fled
to the court of Ptolemy Lagus, where he was
received with kindness. He put an end to his
life by permitting an asp to bite him, b.c. 284.
There were several others of the name of De-
metrius of minor note.
Democ'ritus. A celebrated philosopher of Abdera,
one of the disciples of Leucippus. He trav-
eled over the greatest part of Europe, Asia,
and Africa in quest of knowledge, and re-
turned home in the greatest poverty. He in-
dulged in continual laughter at the follies of
mankind for distracting themselves with care
and anxiety in the short term of their lives.
He told Darius, who was inconsolable for the
loss of his wife, that he would raise her from
the dead if he could find three persons who
had gone through life without adversity,
whose names he might engrave on the queen's
70 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
monument. He taught his disciples that the
soul died with the body. He died in his 109th
year, b. c. 361. He has been termed "the
laughing philosopher." Dr. Johnson refers
to this phase in his character in "The Vanity
of Human Wishes :" —
" Once more, Democritus, arise on earth,
With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth.
See motley life in modern trappings drest.
And feed with varied fools th' eternal jest."
Demosthenes, a celebrated Athenian, was son of
a rich blacksmith, and Cleobule. He became
pupil of Plato, and applied himself to study
the orations of Isocrates. At the age of sev-
enteen he gave early proof of his eloquence
and abilities in displaying them against his
guardians, from whom he obtained restitution
of the greater part of his estate. To correct
the stammering of voice under which he
labored he spoke with pebbles in his mouth.
In the battle of Cheronaea he evinced coward-
ice, and saved his life by flight. He ended
his life by taking poison, which he always
carried in a quill, in the sixtieth year of his
age, B.C. 322.
Deuca lion. A son of Prometheus, who married
Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus. He
reigned over part of Thessaly, and in his age
the earth was covered by a deluge of water,
sent by Jupiter as a punishment for the im-
piety of mankind. Deucalion constructed a
ship, and by this means saved himself and
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 7 I
Pyrrha. The ship, after being tossed on the
waves for nine days, rested on Mount Parnas-
sus. The deluge of Deucalion is supposed to
have occurred b.c. 1503.
Diana. The goddess of hunting. According to
Cicero there were three of the name — viz. , a
daughter of Jupiter and Proserpine, a daugh-
ter of Jupiter and Latona, and a daughter of
Upis and Glauce. The second is the most
celebrated, and all mention of Diana by
ancient writers refers to her. To shun the
society of men she devoted herself to hunting,
and was always accompanied by a number of
young women, who, like herself, abjured
marriage. She is represented with a quiver,
and attended by dogs. The most famous of
her temples was that at Ephesus, which was
one of the wonders of the world.
Dictator. A magistrate at Rome, invested with
Di do. A daughter of Belus. king of Tyre, who
married Sichasus or Sicharbus, her uncle, who
was priest of Hercules. Pygmalion killed
Sichaeus to obtain his immense riches, and
Dido, disconsolate at the loss of her husband,
set sail with a number of Tyrians in quest of
a place in which to form a settlement. A
storm drove her fleet on the African coast, and
she bought of the inhabitants as much land
as could be inclosed by a bull's hide cut into
thongs. On this land she built a citadel
called Byrsa, which was the nucleus of a great
72 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
city (Carthage) . Her subjects wished her to
marry again, but she refused, and erected a
funeral pile, on which she ascended and
stabbed herself to death.
Diocletia nus, Cai us Valer ius Jo vius. A cele-
brated Roman emperor, born of an obscure
family in Dalmatia. He was first a common
soldier, and by merit gradually rose to the
position of a general, and at length he was
invested with imperial power. He has been
celebrated for his military virtues, and
though he was naturally unpolished by educa-
tion, yet he was the friend and patron of learn-
ing and genius. His cruelty, however,
against the followers of Christianity has been
severely reprobated. After reigning twenty-
one years in great prosperity, he abdicated,
A.D. 304, and died nine years afterward, aged
Diodo'rus, Sic ulus. Celebrated as the author of
a history of Egypt, Persia, Syria, Media,
Greece, Rome, and Carthage. It was divided
into forty books, of which only fifteen are ex-
tant, with a few fragments.
Diogenes. A celebrated cynic philosopher of
Sinope, banished from his country for coining
false money. From Sinope he retired to
Athens, where he became the disciple of An-
tisthenes. who was at the head of the Cynics.
He dressed himself in the garment which dis-
tinguished the Cynics, and walked about the
streets with a tub on his head, which served
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 73
him as a house. His singularity, joined to
his great contempt for riches, gained him
reputation, and Alexander the Great visited
the philosopher and asked him if there was
anything in which he could oblige him. "Get
out of my sunshine," was the reply of the
Cynic. Such independence pleased the mon-
arch, who, turning to his courtiers, said,
"Were I not Alexander, I would wish to be
Diogenes. " He was once sold as a slave, and
his magnanimity so pleased his master, that
he made him the preceptor of his children and
the guardian of his estates. He died, b.c.
324, in the ninety-sixth year of his age. The
life of Diogenes does not bear strict examina-
tion : while boasting of his poverty, he was
so arrogant that it has been observed that his
virtues arose from pride and vanity, not from
wisdom or sound philosophy.
Dio'genes Laer tins. An Epicurean philosopher,
born in Cilicia. He wrote the lives of the phil-
osophers in ten books. This work contains
an accurate account of the ancient philoso-
phers, and is replete with anecdotes respecting
them. It is compiled, however, without any
plan, method, or precision, though neatness
and conciseness are observable in it.
Diome'des, a son of Tydeus and Deiphyle, was
king of ^tolia. and one of the bravest of the
Grecian chiefs in the Trojan war. He often
engaged Hector and ^neas, and obtained
much military glory.
74 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Diome des. A king of Thrace, son of Mars and
Cyrene. who fed his horses with human flesh.
Hercules destroyed Diomedes, and gave him
to his own horses to be devoured.
Di on. A Syracusan, son of Hipparina, famous
for his pow-er and abilities. He was related
toDionysiusthe First, who constantly advised
with him, and at whose court he obtained
great popularity. He was assassinated 354
years before the Christian era by one of his
familiar friends. His death was greatly la-
mented by the Syracusans, who raised a mon-
ument to his memory. When Dionysius the
Second ascended the throne he banished Dion,
who collected some forces, and in three days
made himself master of Syracuse.
Di on Cas'sius. A native of Nicsea in Bithynia.
who was raised to some of the greatest offices of
state in the Roman empire. He is celebrated
as the writer of a history of Rome which
occupied him twelve years in composing.
Dionysius the Elder Avas son of Hermocrates.
He signalized himself in the w^ars which the
Syracusans carried on against Carthage, and
made himself absolute at Syracuse. His
tyranny rendered him odious to his subjects.
He made a subterraneous cave in a rock in the
form of a human ear, which was called "the
Ear of Dionysius." The sounds of this cave
were all directed to one common tympanum,
which had a communication with an adjoining
room, where Dionysius spent part of his time
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 75
in listening to what was said by those whom
he had imprisoned. He died in the sixty-
third year of his age, B.C. 368, after a reign of
Dionys'ius the Younger was son of Dionysius the
First and Doris. He succeeded his father,
and as soon as he ascended the throne he in-
vited Plato to his court and studied under him
for some time. Plato advised him to lay
aside the supreme power, in which he was
supported by Dion. This highly incensed
Dionysius, who banished Dion, who collected
forces in Greece, and in three days rendered
himself master of Syracuse, and expelled the
tyrant, B.C. 357. He, however, recovered
Syracuse ten years afterward, but was soon
compelled to retire again by the Corinthians
Dionys'ius, of Halicarnassus. A historian who
left his country and came to reside in Rome
that he might study all the authors who had
written Roman history. He was occupied dur-
ing twenty-four years on his work on Roman
antiquities, which consisted of twenty books.
Dir'ce. A woman whom Lycus, king of Thebes,
married after he had divorced Antiope. Am-
phion and Zethus, sons of Antiope, for cruel-
ties she practiced on Antiope, tied Dirce to
the tail of a wild bull, by which she was
dragged over rocks and precipices till the gods
pitied her and changed her into a fountain.
Discor dia. A malevolent deity, daughter of Nox,
76 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
and sister to Nemesis, the Parcae, and Death.
She was driven from heaven by Jupiter be-
cause she sowed dissensions among the gods.
At the nuptials of Peleus and Thetis she threw
an apple among the gods, inscribed with the
words, Detur pulchriori, which was the pri-
mary cause of the ruin of Troy, and of infinite
misfortunes to the Greeks,
Dolabel'la, P. Corn. A Roman who married the
daughter of Cicero. During the civil wars he
warmly espoused the cause of Julius Caesar,
whom he accompanied at the famous battles
of Pharsalia and Munda.
Domitia'nus, Ti tus Flavins, son of Vespasian
and Flavia Domitilla, made himself emperor
of Rome on the death of his brother Titus,
whom, according to some accounts, he de-
stroyed by poison. The beginning of his
reign promised hopefully, but Domitian be-
came cruel, an(J gave way to vicious indul-
gences. In the latter part of his reign he be-
came suspicious and remorseful. He was
assassinated a.d. 96, in his forty-fifth year.
Dra'co. A celebrated lawgiver of Athens, who
made a code of laws, b.c. 623, which, on ac-
count of their severity, were said to be written
in letters of blood. Hence the term "Dra-
conic," applied to any punishment of excep-
Dni'sus. A son of Tiberius and Vipsania, who
became famous for his courage displayed in
Illyricum and Pannonia.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 77
Dru'sus, M. Liv'ius. A celebrated Roman, who
renewed the puoposals bearing on the Agra-
rian laws, which had proved fatal to the
Dru'sus, Nero Claudius. A son of Tiberius Nero
and Livia. He distinguished himself in the
wars in Germany and Gaul, and was honored
with a triumph. There were other Romans
of the same name, but of smaller distinction.
Dry'ades. Nymphs that presided over the woods.
Oblations of milk, oil, and honey were offered
to them. Sometimes the votaries of the
Dryads sacrificed a goat to them.
Duum'viri. Two patricians at Rome, first ap-
pointed by Tarquin to keep the Sibylline
books, which were supposed to contain the
fate of the Roman empire.
Echo. A daughter of the Air and Tellus, who
was one of Juno's attendants. She was de-
prived of speech by Juno, but was allowed to
reply to questions put to her.
Ege'ria. A nymph of Aricia in Italy, where
Diana was particularly worshiped. Egeria
was courted by Numa. and, according to
Ovid, became his wife. Ovid says that she
was disconsolate at the death of Numa, and
that she wept so violently that Diana changed
her into a fountain. Lord Byron, in the
fourth canto of "Childe Harold," has a beau-
tiful invocation to the nymph, while describ-
ing the fountain of Egeria : —
78 CXASSICAL J)r:tionary
"Here did'st thou sit in this enchanted cover,
Egeria ! thy all heavenly bosotr^ beating
For the far footsteps of thy mortal lover;
The purple midnight veil d that mystic meeting
With her most starr}' canopy, and seating
Thyself by thine adorer, what befel ?
This cave was surely shap'd out for the greeting
Of an enamor'd goddess, and the cell
Haunted by holy love— the earliest oracle!"
Elec'tra. A daughter of Agamemnon, king of
Argos. She incited her brother Orestes to
revenge his father's death by assassinating
his mother Clytemnestra. Her adventures
and misfortunes form the subject of one of the
finest of the tragedies of Sophocles.
Eleusin'ia. A great festival observed by the
Lacedaemonians, Cretans, and others, every
fourth year, and by the people of Athens
every fifth year, at Eleusis in Attica, where
it was introduced by Eumolpus, b.c, 1356. It
was the most celebrated of all the religious
ceremonies of Greece. The term " Mysteries"
is often applied to it. The expression "Eleu-
sinian mysteries," as applied to anything that
is inexplicable, has become proverbial.
Elys'ium. The Elysian Fields, a place in the in-
fernal regions, where, according to the an-
cients, the souls of the virtuous existed after
Emped'ocles. A philosopher, poet, and historian
of Agrigentum in Sicily, who lived 444 b.c.
He was a Pythagorean, and warmly espoused
the belief in the transmigration of souls.
CLASSICAT, DICTIONARY 79
Endym ion. A shepherd, son of ^thlius and
Calyce. He is said to have required of Jupi-
ter that he might be ahva5'S young. Diana
saw him as he slept on Mount Latmos, and
was so struck with his beauty that she came
down from heaven every night to visit him.
En'nius. An ancient poet, born in Calabria. He
obtained the privileges of a Roman citizen on
account of his learning and genius.
Eos. The name of Aurora among the Greeks.
Epaminon das. A famous Theban descended
from the ancient kings of Boeotia. At the
head of the Theban armies he defeated the
Spartans at the celebrated battle of Leuctra
about 370 B.C. He was killed in battle in the
forty-eighth year of his age.
Eph'esus. A city of Ionia, famous for a temple
of Diana, which was considered to be one of
the seven wonders of the world.
Epicte'tus. A Stoic philosopher of Hieropolis.
originally the slave of Epaphroditus. the
freedman of Nero. He supported the doctrine
of the immortality of the soul.
Epicurus. A celebrated philosopher, born in
Attica of obscure parents. He distinguished
himself at school by the brilliancy of his ge-
nius. He taught that the happiness of man-
kind consisted in pleasure, which arises from
mental enjoyment, and the sweets of virtue.
His death occurred 270 b.c. . his age being
Er'ato. One of the Muses. She presided over
8o Cr.ASSICAf, DICTIONARY
lyric poetry, and is represented as crowned
with roses and myrtle, and holding a lyre in
Er'ebus. A deity of the infernal regions, son of
Chaos and Darkness. The poets often use
the word to signify the infernal regions.
Ete'ocles. A king of Thebes, son of Qj^dipns and
Jocasta. After his father's death it was
agreed between him and his brother Polynices
that they should reign a year each alternately,
Eteocles first ascended the throne, but at the
end of the year he refused to resign the crown
Thus treated, Polynices implored assistance*
from Adrastus, king of Argos, whose daugh ■
ter he married, and who placed an army a';
his disposal. Eteocles marshaled his forces,
and several skirmishes took place between th?)
hostile hosts, when it was agreed on that the,
brothers should decide the contest by single;
combat. They fought with inveterate fury,
and both were killed.
Eucli'des. A famous mathematician of Alexan-
dria, who lived r.c. 300. He wrote fifteen
books on the elements of mathematics. Eu-
clid was so much respected that King Ptolemy
became one of his pupils.
Eu'menes. A Greek officer in the army of Alex-
ander. He was the most worthy of all Alex-
ander's generals to succeed him after his
death. He conquered Paphlagonia and Cap-
padocia, of which he obtained the government,
till the power of Antigonus obliged him to
CLASSICAT- DICTIONARY 8l
retire. Eventually, after many vicissitudes
of fortune, he was put to death in prison by
order of Antigonus.
Eumen'ides. A name given to the Furies. They
sprang from the drops of blood which flowed
from a wound which Coelus received from
Saturn. According to some writers they
were daughters of the Earth, and sprung
from the blood of Saturn. Others make them
to be daughters of Acheron and Night, or
Pluto and Proserpine. According to the gen-
erally received opinion they were three in
number — Tisiphone. Megara, and Alecto, to
which some add Nemesis.
Euphor'bus. A famous Trojan. He wounded
Patroclus, whom Hector killed. He died by
the hand of Menelaus.
Euphrates. A large river in Asia which flowed
through the middle of the city of Babylon.
Eurip ides. A celebrated tragic poet born at Sal-
amis. He studied eloquence under Prodicus,
ethics under Socrates, and philosophy under
Anaxagoras. He often retired to a solitary
cave, where he wrote his tragedies. It is said
that he met his death by being attacked and
torn in pieces by dogs, 407 years before the
Christian era, in the seventy-eighth year of
his age. He is accredited with the authorship
of seventy- five tragedies, of which only nine-
teen are extant. One of his plays, "Ion." has
become familiarized in name to general read-
ers by the exquisite play thus called written
82 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
by the late Judge Talfourd, and first acted at
Covent Garden theatre, London, May 26, 1836.
Euro pa. A daughter of Agenor, king of Phoeni-
cia, and Telaphassa. Her beauty attracted
Jupiter, and to become possessed of her he
assumed the shape of a handsome bull, and
mingled with the herds of Agenor while Eu-
ropa was gathering flowers in the meadows.
She caressed the animal, and mounted on his
back. The god crossed the sea with her, and
arrived in Crete, where he assumed his proper
form, and declared his love. She became
mother of Minos, Sarpedon, and Rhadaman-
Euryd'ice. The wife of the poet Orpheus. As
she fled from Aristaeus, who was enamored
with her, she was bit by a serpent, and died
of the wound. Orpheus was disconsolate at
her loss, and descended to the infernal regions
in search of her, and by the melody of his
lyre he obtained from Pluto the restoration of
Eurydice, provided he did not look behind
him till he reached the earth ; but his eager-
ness to see his wife caused him to violate the
conditions, and he looked behind him, thus
losing Eurydice for ever.
Euryd ice. Wife of Amyntas, king of Macedonia.
Alexander. Perdiccas, and Philip were their
sons, and they had a daughter named Eury-
one. She conspired against Amyntas. but
was prevented from killing him by Euryone.
Eurys thenes. A son of Aristodemus. who lived
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 83
in perpetual dissension with his twin brother
Procles while they both sat on the Spartan
throne. The descendants of Eurysthenes
were called Eurysthenidtc, and those of Pro-
Eurys'theus. A king of Argos and Mycenae, son
of Sthenelus and Nicippe. Juno hastened his
birth by two months that he might come into
the world before Hercules, the son of Alc-
mena, as the younger of the two was doomed
by Jupiter to be subservient to the other.
This natural right was cruelly exercised by
Eurystheus, who was jealous of the fame of
Hercules, and who, to destroy him, imposed
upon him the most dangerous enterprises,
known as the Twelve Labors of Hercules, all
of which were successfully accomplished.
Euse'bius. A bishop of Caesarea, in favor with
the Emperor Constantine. He was mixed up
in the theological disputes of Arius and Atha-
nasius, and distinguished himself by writing
an ecclesiastical history and other works.
Euterpe. One of the Muses, daughter of Jupiter
and Mnemosyne. She presided over music.
Eutro'pius. A Latin historian in the age of
Julian. He wrote an epitome of the history
of Rome from the age of Romulus to the
reign of the emperor Valens.
Fa'bii. A noble and powerful family at Rome.
They fought with the Veientes. and all of
them were slain. One of the family, of ten-
84 CLASSICAT, DICTIONARY
der age, remained in Rome, and from him
descended the family which afterwards became
Fa'bius, Max imus Rullia nus, was the first of the
Fabii who obtained the name of "Maximus."
He was master of the horse, and his victory
over the Samnites in that capacity nearly cost
him his life. He was five times consul, twice
dictator, and once censor.
Fa'bius, Q. Max imus. A celebrated Roman who
was raised to the highest offices of state. In
his first consulship he obtained a victory over
Liguria, and the battle of Thrasymenus caused
his election to the dictatorship. In this office
he opposed Hannibal, harassing him more by
counter-marches and ambuscades than by
fighting in the open field. He died at the age
of one hundred, after being consul five times.
Others of the family were of minor distinc-
tion, though their names occur in Roman
Fabric ius, Cai'us. A distinguished Roman who
ill his first consulship obtained several victor-
ies over the Samnites and Lucanians. He
had the most consummate knowledge of mili-
tary matters, and was distinguished for the
simplicity of his manners.
Faler'nus. A fertile mountain and plain of Cam-
pania, famous for its wine. Falernian wine
was held in great esteem by the Romans, and
it is often alluded to by the poets.
Fau'ni. Rural deities represented as having the
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 85
legs, feet, and ears of goats, and the rest of
the body human.
Flac cus. A consul who marched against Sj'lla
and was assassinated.
Flamin ius, T, Q. A famous Roman who was
trained in the art of war against Hannibal.
He was sent in command of the Roman troops
against Philip of Macedonia, and met with
Flora. The goddess of flowers and gardens
among the Romans. She was the same as
the Chloris of the Greeks.
Fortu na. A powerful deity among the ancients,
daughter of Oceanus according to Homer, or
one of the Parcae according to Pindar. She
was the goddess of Fortune, and bestowed
riches or poverty on mankind.
Ful'via. An ambitious woman, wife of the tribune
Clodius, afterward of Curio, and lastly of An-
tony. Antony divorced her for Cleopatra.
She attempted to avenge her wrongs by per-
suading Augustus to take up arms against
Galatae'a. A sea nymph, daughter of Nereus and
Doris. She was loved by Polyphemus, the
Cyclops, whom she treated with disdain,
while she was in love with Acis, a shepherd
Gal'ba, Ser'vius Sulpi cius. A Roman who rose
to the greatest offices of the state, and exer-
cised his powers with equity till he was seated
86 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
on the throne, when his virtues disappeared.
He was assassinated in the seventy-third year
of his age.
Gallie nus, Pub. Licin ius, A son of the emperor
Valerian. He reigned conjointly with his
father for seven years, and then became sole
emperor, a.d. 260. In his youth he showed
military ability in an expedition against the
Germans and Sarmatse, but when possessed of
the purple he gave himself up to pleasure and
vice. He was assassinated in his fiftieth year.
Gal'lus, Corne lius. A Roman knight famous for
his poetical as well as his military talents.
He was greatly attached to his slave Lycoris
(or Cytheris). whose beauty he extolled in his
Ganyme'des. A beautiful youth of Phrygia. He
was taken to heaven by Jupiter while tending
flocks on Mount Ida, and he became the cup-
bearer of the gods in place of Hebe.
Gel'lius Au'lus. A Roman grammarian in the
age of M. Antoninus. He wrote a work called
"Noctes Atticse." which he composed at
German'icus Cae sar, A son of Drusus and An-
tonia, the niece of Augustus. He was raised
to the most important position in the state,
and was employed in war in Germany, where
his successes obtained him a triumph. He
was secretly poisoned, a.d. 19, in the thirty-
fourth year of his age. He has been com-
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY Sj
mended not only for his military talents but
for his learning and humanity.
Ge'ryon. A monster, represented by the poets as
having three bodies and three heads. It was
killed by Hercules.
Gigan tes. The sons of Coelus and Terra, who,
according to Hesiod, sprang from the blood of
a wound inflicted on Coelus by his son Saturn.
They are represented as huge giants, with
strength in accordance with their size.
Glau'cus. A son of Hippolochus, the son of Bel-
lerophon. He aided Priam in the Trojan
war, and was noted for his folly in exchang-
ing his golden armor with Diomedes for an
Glau cus. A fisherman of Boeotia. He observed
that the fishes which he caught and laid on
the grass became invigorated and leaped into
the sea. He tasted the grass, and suddenly
felt a desire to live in the sea. He was made
a sea deity by Oceanus and Tethys.
Glaucus. A son of Minos the Second and Pasiphaj,
who was smothered in a cask of honey. The
soothsayer Polyidus, on being commanded by
Minos to find his son, discovered him, and by
rubbing his body with a certain herb restored
him to life.
Gordianus, M. Anto'nius Africa nus. Son of
Metius Marcellus. He applied himself to
poetry, and composed a poem in thirty books.
He was sent as proconsul to Africa, and sub-
sequently, when he had attained his eighti-
88 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
eth year, he was proclaimed emperor. He
strangled himself at Carthage a.d. 236, and
was deeply lamented by the army and the
Gordia'nus, M. Anto nius Africa nus, son of Gor-
dianus, was made prefect of Rome, and af-
terward consul by Alexander Severus. He
was elected emperor in conjunction with his
father. He was killed in a battle fought with
Maximinus in Mauritania.
Gordia'nus, M. Anto'nius Pius, was grandson of
the first Gordian. He was proclaimed em-
peror in the sixteenth year of his age. He
married the daughter of Misetheus, who was
distinguished by his virtues, and to whom
Gordian entrusted many of the chief offices of
the state. Gordian conquered Sapor, king of
Persia, and took many cities from him. He
was assassinated a.d. 244.
Gor'dius. A Phrygian who, from the position of
a peasant, was raised to the throne consequent
on a prediction of the oracle. The knot which
tied the yoke to the draught-tree of his chariot
was made so cunningly that the ends of the
cord could not be seen, and a report arose that
the empire of Asia was promised by the oracle
to him Avho should untie the Gordian knot.
Alexander cut the knot with his sword.
Gor'gones (the Gorgons). Three sisters, daugh-
ters of Phorcys and Ceto, whose names were
Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa. They pos-
sessed the power of turning into stone those
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 89
on whom they looked. Perseus attacked them
and cut off Medusa's head, which he gave to
Minerva, who placed it on her aegis, which
turned into stone those who fixed their eyes
Grac chus, T. Sempronius, was twice consul and
once censor. He married Cornelia, of the
family of the Scipios, a woman of piety and
learning. Their children , Tiberius and Caius,
rendered themselves famous for their obstinate
attachment to the interests of the populace,
which at last proved fatal to them. The
Gracchi stand out conspicuously in Roman
annals. The history of Caius Gracchus has
been dramatized by James Sheridan Knowles.
It was one of his earliest efforts in dramatic
literature, and has long been obsolete as an
Gymnasium. A place among the Greeks where
all the public exercises were performed, and
where not only dancers and wrestlers exhib-
ited, but where poets and philosophers re-
peated their compositions.
Ha des, see Ades.
Halicarnas'sus. A maritime city in Asia Minor,
where a mausoleum, one of the seven wonders
of the world, was erected. It is celebrated as
being the birthplace of Herodotus, Dionysius,
Hamadry'ades. Nymphs who lived in the country
and presided over trees.
90 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Hamil car. A famous Carthaginian, father of
Hannibal. He was engaged in Sicily during
the first Punic war. He used to say of his
three sons that he kept three lions to devour
the Roman power.
Hannibal. A celebrated Carthaginian general,
son of Hamilcar. While a child he took a
solemn oath never to be at peace with Rome.
His passage of the Alps with a great army
was achieved by softening the rocks with fire
and vinegar, so that even his armed elephants
descended the mountains without difficulty.
He defeated the Romans in the great battle
of Cannae, but was subsequently conquered
by Scipio at Zama. He died by poison taken
from a ring in which he kept it concealed.
This occurred in his seventieth year, about
1 82 years b.c.
Harmo'dius. A friend of Aristogiton who as-
sisted in delivering his country from the tyr-
anny of the PisistratidcE.
Harpy'lae. The Harpies, winged monsters who
had the face of a woman, the body of a vul-
ture, and feet and fingers armed with claws.
They were three in number — Aello, Ocypete,
and Celeno. They were daughters of Nep-
tune and Terra.
Has drubal. A son of Hamilcar and brother of
Hannibal. He crossed the Alps and entered
Italy, where he was defeated by the consuls,
M. Livius Salinator and Claudius Nero. He
was killed in the battle h.c. 207, and his head
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 91
was sent to Hannibal. One of the finest pas-
sages in Professor Nichol's tragedy of Han-
nibal is the invocation over Hasdrubal's head
at the close of the play.
Hebe. A daughter of Jupiter and Juno. She
was made cupbearer to the gods, but was
dismissed from the office by Jupiter, because
she fell down in a clumsy posture as she was
pouring out nectar at a festival, and Gany-
medes succeeded her as cupbearer.
Hec ate. A daughter of Perses and Asteria. She
was called Luna in heaven, Diana on earth,
and Hecate or Proserpine in hell.
Hec tor, son of King Priam and Hecuba, was the
most valiant of all the Trojan chiefs who
fought against the Greeks. He married An-
dromache, the daughter of Eetion, Astyanax
being their son. Hector was made chief of
the Trojan forces when Troy was besieged by
the Greeks, and it is said that thirty-one of
the most valiant Greek chiefs were killed by
him, but when he met Achilles he fled.
Achilles pursued him, and Hector was killed,
and his body dragged in triumph at the char-
iot wheels of the conqueror.
Hec'uba, daughter of Dymas, a Phrygian prince,
or, according to some, of Cisseus, a Thracian
king, was the second wnfe of Priam, king of
Troy. When her son Paris was born, she ex-
posed him on Mount Ida, hoping he would
perish, as the soothsayers had predicted that
he would be the ruin of his country. In the
92 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Trojan war she saw most of her children per-
ish. After enduring many misfortunes, she
threw herself into the sea, and was drowned.
Hel'ena. One of the most beautiful women in the
age in which she lived. Her beauty was so
universally admired, even in her infancy,
that Theseus, with his friend Pirithous, car-
ried her away when she was ten years of age
and concealed her with his mother, but she
was recovered by Castor and Pollux, and re-
stored to her native country. She married
Menelaus, son of Atreus, but when Paris vis-
ited Menelaus he persuaded her to fly with
him to Troy, b.c. iigS. On this, Menelaus
sent ambassadors to the court of Priam to de-
mand her restitution, but in vain, and the
result was the Trojan war. When Troy was
taken she returned to Menelaus, and after his
death she retired to Rhodes, where she was
strangled by order of Polyxo, who reigned
there. Her beauty and misfortunes have been
a theme for the poets in all ages : one of them
thus speaks of her : —
" Possess'd of all those glowing cliarms,
That fir'd the Trojan boy,
And kindled love with war's alarms
Around the walls of Troy."
Hel icon. A mountain of B(£otia on the borders
of Phocis. II was sacred to the Muses, who
had a temple there. The fountain Hippo-
crene flowed from this mountain.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 93
Heliogab alus, M. Aure lius Antoni us. A Roman
emperor who had been priest to a divinity in
Phoenicia. Under his sway Rome became the
scene of cruelty and vice. He raised his
horse to the honors of consulship, and in-
dulged in a number of absurdities which ren-
dered him odious to his subjects. His head
was cut off by his soldiers a.d. 222.
Hel'le. A daughter of Athamas and Nephele.
She fled from her father's house to avoid the
oppression of her mother-in-law Ino. Accord-
ing to some accounts, she was carried through
the air on a golden ram, when, becoming
giddy, she fell into the sea, which received
from her the name Hellespont.
Hellespon'tus. A narrow strait between Europe
and Asia, which received its name from
Helle, who is said to have been drowned in
it. It is celebrated as being the scene of the
love and death of Leander.
Heracli'tus. A celebrated Greek philosopher of
Ephesus, who lived about 500 years before the
Christian era. He received the appellation
of the Obscure Philosopher and the Mourner,
from his custom of weeping at the follies and
frailties of human life.
Herculaneum. A town of Campania swallowed
up by an earthquake, produced by an eruption
of Mount Vesuvius, a.d. 79.
■ Hercules. A celebrated hero who, after death,
was ranked among the gods. According to
the ancients there were many persons of th©
94 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
same name, but the son of Jupiter and Alc-
•\nena, generally called the Theban, is the
most celebrated. The birth of Hercules was
attended with many miraculous events. Be-
fore he was eight months old Juno sent two
snakes to devour him, which he seized, and
crushed them to death. He achieved a series
of enterprises known as the "Twelve Labors
of Hercules." These comprised the slaugh-
ter of the Nemaean lion, the destruction of the
Lernsean hydra, the catching of a stag having
golden horns and remarkable for his swift-
ness, the seizing alive a wild boar which com-
mitted great ravages, the cleansing of the
stables of Augias, the killing of the carnivo-
rous birds near Lake Stymphalis, the taking
captive a prodigious wild bull, the obtaining
the mares of Diomedes which fed on human
flesh, the getting possession of the girdle of
the queen of the Amazons, the destruction of
the monster Geryon, the obtaining the apples
from the garden of the Hesperides, and the
bringing to the earth the three-headed dog
Cerberus. Besides these labors he aided the
gods in their wars with the giants, and per-
formed numerous difficult feats. He was con-
ducted by Mercury to Omphale, queen of
Lydia, whom he married, and whom he per-
mitted to dress in his armor while he was sit-
ting to spin with her female servants. He
delivered Dejanira from the Centaur Nessiis,
whom he killed. The Centaur, as he expired,
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 95
• gaveDejanira a mystic tunic, which, m a
jealous paroxysm, she gave to Hercules to
put on, which he had no sooner done than he
was seized with a desperate distemper which
was incurable. He erected a burning pile on
Mount ^Eta. on which he cast himself. Jupi-
ter surrounded the burning pile with smoke,
amidst which Hercules, after his mortal parts
were consumed, was carried to heaven in a
chariot drawn by four horses.
Hermes. A name of Mercury among the Greeks.
Herminius. A valiant Roman who defended the
bridge with Codes against the army of Por-
senna. Lord Macaulay, in his noble poem
"Horatius, " alludes to him as one of the
•'dauntless three" who defended the bridge
against the host of Porsenna —
" And out spake strong Herminius,
Of Titian blood was he,
'I will abide on thy left side,
And keep the bridge with thee.' "
Hermi'one. A daughter of Mars and Venus who
married Cadmus. She was changed into a
serpent, and placed in the El5^sian Fields.
Hermi one. A daughter of Menelaus and Helen.
She was privately promised in marriage to
Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, but her
father, ignorant of the engagement, gave her
hand to Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles, whose
services he had experienced in the Trojan
Hermip'pus. A freedman, disciple of Philo, in
g6 CLASStCAI. DICTIONARY
the reign of Adrian, by whom he was greatly
esteemed. He wrote five books on dreams.
Hermoc rates. A general of Syracuse, who was
sent against the Athenians. His lenity
toward the Athenian prisoners was regarded
with suspicion. He was banished from Sicily,
and was murdered on his attempt to return to
Hermodo'rus. A philosopher of Ephesus who is
said to have assisted, as interpreter, the Ro-
man decemvirs in the composition of the ten
tables of laws which had been collected in
Hero. A beautiful girl of Sestos greatly be-
loved by Leander, a youth of Abydos, The
lovers were greatly attached to each other,
and often in the night Leander swam across
the Hellespont to Hero in Sestos, till on one
tempestuous night he was drowned, and Hero
in despair threw herself into the sea and per-
Hero'des, surnamed the Great, followed the for-
tunes of Brutus and Cassius, and afterward
those of Antony. He was made king of Judaea
by the aid of Antony, and after the battle of
Actium he was continued in power by submis-
sion to and flattery of Augustus. He rendered
himself odious by his cruelty, and as he knew
his death would be a cause for rejoicing, he
ordered a number of the most illustrious of
his subjects to be confined and murdered di-
rectly he expired, that there might appear to
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 97
be grief and shedding of tears for his ovrn
death. Herod died in the seventieth year of
his age, after a reign of 40 years.
Herodotus. A celebrated historian of Plalicar-
nassus. He ranks among historians as Homer
does among the poets and Demosthenes
among the orators. His great work is a his-
tory of the wars of the Persians against the
Greeks, from the age of Cyrus to the battle
of Mycale in the reign of Xerxes ; besides
which it gives an account of many celebrated
nations. A life of Homer is attributed to his
pen, though by some the authorship is doubted.
Hesi'odus. A celebrated poet, born at Ascia in
Boeotia. He lived in the age of Homer, and
obtained a poetical prize in competition with
him, according to Varro and Plutarch. Quin-
tilian, Philostratus, and others maintain that
Hesiod lived before the age of Homer. He-
siod. without possessing the sublimity of Ho-
mer, is admired for the elegance of his diction.
Hesi'one. A daughter of Laodemon, king of
Troy. It was her fate to be exposed to a sea-
monster, to whom the Trojans presented
yearly a young girl to appease the resentment
of Apollo and Neptune, whom Laodemon had
offended. Hercules undertook to rescue her,
and attacking the monster just as he was
about to devour her, killed him with his club.
Hesperides. Three Nymphs, daughters of Hespe-
rus. Apollodorus mentions four, ^gle, Ery-
thia, Vesta, and Arethusa. They were ap-
98 CLASSICAL DICTIONARV
pointed to guard the golden apples which Juno
gave to Jupiter on the day of their marriage.
The place where the Hesperides lived was a
celebrated garden, abounding with delicious
fruit, and was guarded by a dragon which
never slept. It was one of the labors of Her-
cules to procure some of the golden apples,
which he succeeded in doing after slaying the
Hieron'ymus. A tyrant of Sicily, who succeeded
to the throne when he was fifteen years old.
He rendered himself odious by his cruelty and
Hieron'ymus. A Christian writer, commonly
called St. Jerome. He was distinguished for
his zeal against heretics. He wrote com-
mentaries on the prophets, St. Matthew's
Gospel, etc. He died a.d. 420 in his eightieth
Hippar'chus. A son of Pisistratus, who succeeded
his father, as tyrant of Athens, with his
brother Hippias. He patronized some of the
learned men of his age. and distinguished
himself for his love of literature.
Hippocrates. A celebrated physician of Cos.
He delivered Athens from a dreadful pesti-
lence in the beginning of the Peloponnesian
war, for which he was rewarded with a golden
crown. He died in his ninety-ninth year.
Hippocre'ne. A fountain of Boeotia, near Mount
Helicon, sacred to the Muses. It rose from
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 99
the ground when struck by the ieet of the
Hippodami'a. A daughter of CEnomaus, king of
Pisa, who married Pelops, son of Tantalus.
Her father would marry her only to some one
who should conquer him in a chariot race.
Her beauty was great, and many were compe-
titors for her hand, though the conditions in-
volved death in case of defeat in the race.
After thirteen suitors had been defeated,
Pelops entered the lists, and by bribing the
charioteer of CEnomaus, obtained the victory
and married Hippodamia.
Hippolyte. A queen of the Amazons, given in
marriage to Theseus by Hercules. Hippoly-
tus was their son.
Hippolytus. Son of Theseus and Hippolyte.
His stepmother Phaedra fell in love with him.
He fled to the sea-shore, where, his horses
taking fright and rushing among the rocks,
his chariot was broken in pieces, and he was
killed. According to some accounts he was
restored to life by Diana.
Hippo'nax. A Greek poet born at Ephesus, 540
years before the Christian era. He cultivated
satirical poetry, which was marked by its
beauty and vigor.
Home'rus. A celebrated Greek poet, the most
ancient of all the profane writers. The age
in which he lived is not known, though some
suppose it to be about 168 years after the
Trojan war. Uncertainty prevails, also, as
loo CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
to the place of his nativity, seven cities claim-
ing to be thus honored. These are Smyrna,
Chios, Colophon, Salamis, Rhodos, Argos,
and Athena?. In his two famous poems, the
Iliad and Odyssey, he has displayed the most
consummate knowledge of human nature, and
rendered himself immortal by the sublimity
and elegance of his poetry. In the Iliad he
gives a narrative of the siege of Troy, and the
Odyssey deals with the wanderings of Ulysses
after the fall of the city. Byron, in "The
Bride of Abydos, " calls him
" The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle,"
thus assuming Chios to be his birthplace, Scio
being the modern name of the place. Dry-
den, in his well-known lines commencing
" Three poets in three distant ages born,"
ranks him with Virgil and Milton, giving
Homer the palm of "loftiness of thought."
One of the old poets thus alludes to his verse : —
" Read Homer once, and you can read no more,
For all books else appear so mean and poor;
Verse will seem prose; but still persist to read,
And Homer will be all the books you need."
Hono'rius. An emperor of the Western Empire
of Rome, who succeeded his father, Theodo-
sius the Great. He conquered his enemies
by the ability of his generals, and suffered
his people to be governed by ministers who
took advantage of his indolence and indiffer-
ence. He died a.d. 423.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY lOI
Hora tii. Three brave Romans, born at the same
time, who fought against the three Curiatii
about 667 years before Christ. At the begin-
ning of the fight two of the Koratii were
killed, and the surviving one pretended to fly,
thus separating his antagonists as they pur-
sued him, and then, attacking them singly,
he slew them all.
Hora'tius, Q. Flac'cus. A celebrated poet born
at Venusia. His rising talents obtained the
attention of Virgil and Varius, who recom-
mended him to the care of Maecenas and Au-
gustus, the celebrated patrons of literature.
Under this fostering patronage Horace gave
himself up to indolence and pleasure. He
was warm in his friendships, and if he at any
time gave offense, he was ready to make any
concession to effect a reconciliation. In his
satires and epistle he displays much wit and
satirical humor. He died in his fifty-seventh
^-ear, b.c. 8.
Horatius. See Cocles.
Horten'sius, Q. A celebrated orator who began
to distinguish himself in the Roman Forum
when he was nineteen years old. Cicero
speaks eulogistically of his oratorical powers,
and of his retentive memory. Quintilian
alludes to his orations in terms of high com-
Hyacin'thus. A son of Amyclas and Diomede,
greatly beloved by Apollo and Zephyrus. He
was accidentally killed by Apollo, who
I02 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
changed his blood into a flower which bore his
Hy'bla. A mountain in Sicily, famous for the
odoriferous herbs which grew on it. It was
noted for its honey.
Hydra. A celebrated monster which infested the
neighborhood of Lake Lernain Peloponnesus.
It was one of the labors of Hercules to destroy
the monster, which he effected with the aid
Hyge'ia. The goddess of health, daughter of
^sculapius. She was held in great venera-
tion among the ancients.
Hymenae us or Hy men, the god of m.arriage among
the Greeks, was the son of Bacchus and Venus,
or, according to some, of Apollo and one of
Hymet'tus. A mountain of Attica, about two
miles from Athens, famous for its bees and
Hyperi on. A son of Coelus and Terra, wdio mar-
ried Thea. Aurora was their daughter. Hy-
perion is often used by the poets to signify
the sun ; as, for instance, by Shakspeare in
"Titus Andronicus" (act v. sc. 2) —
"Even from Hyperion's rising in the east.
Until his very downfall in the sea."
Also in "Troilus and Cressida" and other of
Shakspeare's plays, the same license is used.
Hypermnes'tra. Une of the Danaides, who were
the fifty daughters of Danaus. She was
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I03
ordered by her father to murder her husband
Lynceus on the night of their marriage, which
she refused to do. Danaus wished to punish
her for her disobedience, but afterward for-
gave her, and left his kingdom at his death
Hypsipyle. A queen of Lemnos, daughter of
Thoas. During her reign, Venus, whose
altars had been slighted, punished the Lem-
nian women by causing their husbands' af-
fections to be estranged from them. This
enraged the women, and they put to death
their male relations, except in the case of
Hypsipyle, who spared her father Thoas,
Ic'arus. A son of Daedalus, who, with his father,
took a winged flight from Crete to escape the
anger of Minos. His flight was too high, and
thus the sun melted the wax which cemented
his wings, and he fell into the sea and was
Idom eneus succeeded his father Deucalion on
the throne of Crete, and accompanied the
Greeks to the Trojan war, during which he
rendered himself famous for his valor. On
his voyage home, being caught in a great
tempest, he vowed to Neptune that if he es-
caped he would make an offering to the god
of the first living creature he saw on his ar-
rival at the Cretan shore. He escaped the
storm, and the first to meet him on his land-
ing was his son. He performed his vow, and
I04 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
became so odious to his subjects that he had
to leave his dominions.
Igna tius. A bishop of Antioch torn to pieces by-
lions in the amphitheater at Rome a.d, 107.
His works consisted of letters to the Ephe-
sians, Romans, etc. He zealously supported
the doctrine of the divinity of Christ.
rius, fourth king of Troy, was son of Tros by
Callirrhoe. He married Eurydice, the daugh-
ter of Adrastus. He embellished the city of
Ilium, called also Troy from his father Tros.
I'no. A daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, who
nursed Bacchus." She married Athamas, king
of Thebes, after he had divorced Nephele.
I'o, a daughter of Inachus, was a priestess of
Juno at Argos. Jupiter changed her into a
beautiful heifer, and eventually restored her
to her own form. She was greatly persecuted
by Juno. She married Telegonus, king of
Egypt, or Osiris according to others, and
treated her subjects with such kindness that
after death she received divine honors, and
was worshiped under the name of Isis.
Tolas or lola'us. A son of Iphiclus, king of
Thessaly, who assisted Hercules in conquer-
ing the Hydra; he burnt with a hot iron the
place where the monster's heads had been cut
off to prevent their re-growth.
Iph iclus. A son of Amphitryon and Alcmena.
twin brother of Hercules. As the children
were cradled together, Juno, jealous of Her-
cules, sent two large serpents to destroy him.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I05
At the sight of the snakes Iphiclus showed
great alarm, but Hercules seized them, one in
each hand, and squeezed them to death.
Iphicrates. A celebrated general of Athens, who,
though son of a shoemaker, rose to the high-
est offices in the state. He made war against
the Thracians, and assisted the Persian king
Iphigeni'a. A daughter of Agamemnon and Cly-
temnestra. When the Greeks, going to the
Trojan war, were detained at Aulis by con-
trary winds, they were informed by a sooth-
sayer that to appease the gods they must sac-
rifice Iphigenia to Diana. As the fatal knife
was about to be plunged into her, Iphigenia
suddenly disappeared, and a goat of great
beauty was found in the place where she had
stood ready for the sacrifice.
Iph'itus. A son of Eurytus, king of CEchalia.
When his father had promised his daughter
lole to any one who could excel him or his
sons in drawing the bow, Hercules accepted
the challenge and was victorious. Eurytus,
however, refused to fulfil the compact by giv-
ing his daughter to the conqueror. After-
ward some oxen were stolen from Eurytus,
and Iphitus was sent in quest of them. In
his search he met Hercules, who aided him in
seeking the lost animals, but on recollecting
the faithlessness of Eurytus he killed Iphitus.
Irens'us. A native of Greece, disciple of Poly-
carp, and bishop of Lyons. He wrote on dif=
Io6 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
fe rent subjects, and suffered martyrdom a.d.
Iris. One of the Oceanides, messenger of the
gods, and more particularly of Juno. Her
office was to cut the thread which seemed to
detain the soul of those who were expiring.
She is the same as the rainbow.
I'sis. A celebrated deity of the Egyptians,
daughter of Saturn and Rhea, according to
Diodorus of Sicily. Some suppose her to be
the same as lo, who was changed into a cow,
and restored to her human form in Egypt,
where she taught agriculture, and governed
the people with mildness and equity, for
which she received divine honors after her
Isoc'rates. A celebrated orator, son of a musical
instrument maker at Athens. He opened a
school of eloquence at Athens, where he was
distinguished for the number, character, and
fame of his pupils. He was intimate with
Philip of Macedon, but the aspiring ambition
of Philip displeased Isocrates, and the defeat
of the Athenians at Chseronea had such an
effect on him that he did not long survive it.
He died, after being four days without taking
any aliment, in his ninety-ninth year, about
338 years before Christ. He was honored
after death by the erection of a brazen statue
to his memory by Timotheus, one of his
pupils, and Aphareus, his adopted son. Mil-
ton, in one of his sonnets, speaks of him as
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 107
"that old man eloquent" when alluding to his
death as being caused by the news of the bat-
tle of Chaeronea.
rtys. A son of Tereus, king of Thrace, and
Procne, daughter of Pandion, king of Athens.
He was killea oy nis mother when he was six
years old, and served up to his father to be
eaten by him. He was changed into a pheas-
ant, his mother into a swallow, and his father
into an owl.
Ixion. A king of Thessaly, son of Phlegias, or,
according to Hyginus, of Leontes, or, accord-
ing to Diodorus, of Antion and Perimela.
Jupiter carried him to heaven and placed him
at the table of the gods, where he became
enamored wnth Juno, which so incensed Jupiter
that he banished him from heaven, and ordered
Mercury to tie him to a wheel in hell which
continually whirled round, keeping Ixion in
Janus. An ancient king who reigned in Italy.
He was a native of Thessaly, and, according
to some writers, a son of Apollo. He built a
town which he called Janiculum. Some au-
thors make him to have been son of Coelus and
Hecate. He is represented with two faces,
because he was acquainted with the past and
future. His temple was always open in time
of war, and was shut when peace existed.
Jap'etus. A son of Coelus or Titan and Terra.
who married Asia, or, according to some
I08 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
writers, Clymene. The Greeks looked on
him as the father of all mankind.
Jason. A celebrated hero, son of .^son and
Alcimedes. His education was entrusted to
the Centaur Chiron. The greatest feat re-
corded of him is his voyage in the Argo to
Colchis to obtain the Golden Fleece, which,
aided by Juno, he succeeded in doing. Medea,
daughter of ^etes, king of Colchis, fell in love
with Jason. She was a powerful magician,
and on Jason having vowed eternal fidelity to
her, she gave him charms to protect him from
danger. After securing the Fleece, Jason set
sail from the country with his wife Medea.
After some years he became enamored with
Glauce, daughter of Creon, king of Corinth,
whom he married, having divorced Medea.
This cruel act was revenged by Medea, who
destroyed her children in the presence of their
father. Jason is said to have been killed by
a beam which fell on his head as he was re-
posing by the side of the ship which had borne
him to Colchis.
Jocas'ta. A daughter of Menoeceus, who married
Laius, king of Thebes, CEdipus being their
son. She afterward married CEdipus with-
out knowing who he was, and on the discov-
ery she hanged herself. By some mytholo-
gists she is called Epicasta.
Jose'phus, Fla'vius. A celebrated Jew, born in
Jerusalem, who signalized himself in a siege
conducted by Vespasian and Titus in a small
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I09
town in Judaea. He was present at the siege
of Jerusalem by Titus, and received all the
sacred books which it contained from the con-
queror's hands. He wrote a history of the
wars of the Jews in Syriac, and afterwards
translated it into Greek. He also wrote a
work, which he divided into twenty books, on
Jewish antiquities. He died a.d. 93, in his
fifty -sixth year.
Jovia nus, Fla vius Clau dius. A native of Pan-
nonia elected emperor of Rome by the soldiers
after the death of Julian. He refused the
purple at first, but on being assured that his
subjects were favorably disposed toward
Christianity he accepted the crown. He died
about seven months after assuming the su-
preme power, being found in bed suffocated
by the vapors of charcoal which had been
lighted in his room, a.d. 364.
Ju'ba. A king of Numidia and Mauritania who
favored the cause of Pompey against Julius
Ciesar. He defeated Curio, whom Csesar had
sent to Africa, and after the battle of Phar-
salia he joined his forces to those of Scipio.
He was conquered in a battle at Thapsus, and
killed himself. His kingdom became a
Roman province, of which Sallust was the
Ju'ba, the second of that name, was led captive to
Rome to give lustre to the triumph of Caesar.
He wrote a history of Rome which was often
commended and quoted by the ancients.
no CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Jugur tha. A distinguished Numldian who went
with a body of troops to the assistance of
Scipio who was besieging Numantia. Jugur-
tha endeared himself to the Roman general
by his bravery and activity. His uncle Mi-
cipsa appointed him successor to the throne,
with his two sons Adherbal and Hiempsal, the
latter of whom was slain by Jugurtha, and
the former had to fly to Rome for safety.
Csecilius Metellus was sent against Jugurtha,
who was betrayed, and delivered into the
hands of the Romans. He died in prison,
Ju'lia. A daughter of Julius Caesar and Cornelia,
famous for her virtues and personal charms.
She was obliged by her father to divorce her-
self from her first husband to marry Pompey
the Great, with the object of cementing the
friendship between him and her father.
Ju'lia. Daughter of Augustus, remarkable for
her beauty, genius, and vices. Her father
gave her in marriage to Marcellus, after
whose death she united herself to Agrippa,
and again becoming a widow she married
Tiberius. Her conduct now became so un-
seemly that she was banished to a small island
on the coast of Campania, where she was
starved to death.
Ju'lia. A daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina,
born at Lesbos, a.d. 17. She married M.
Vinucius, a senator, when she was sixteen
years old. She was banished on suspicion of
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY III
conspiracy by her brother Caligula. She was
notorious for her licentious conduct, and was
put to death when she was about twenty-four
years of age.
Ju'lia. A celebrated woman born in Phoenicia.
She applied herself to the study of philosophy,
and was conspicuous for her mental as well
as her personal charms. She came to Rome,
where she married Septimius Severus, who
was afterward invested with the purple. She
was also called Domna.
Julia'nus. A son of Julius Constantius, the
brother of Constantine the Great, born in
Constantinople. The massacre which at-
tended the elevation of the sons of Constan-
tine to the throne nearly proved fatal to Julian
and his brother Gallus. The two brothers
were privately educated and taught the doc-
trine of the Christian religion — which after-
ward Julian disavowed, and in consequence
of this the term "Apostate" is generally af-
fixed to his name. He died, a.d. 363, in his
thirty-second year. His last moments were
spent in a conversation with a philosopher
about the immortality of the soul. Julian's
character has been admired by some writers,
but generally he is censured for his apostasy.
Ju'no. A celebrated deity among the ancients,
daughter of Saturn and Ops. Jupiter married
her. and the nuptials were celebrated with the
greatest solemnity in the presence of all the
gods. By her marriage with Jupiter, Juno
112 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
became the queen of all the gods, and mis-
tress of heaven and earth. She presided over
marriage, and patronized those of her sex who
were distinguished for virtuous conduct.
Paris gave her great offense by giving the
golden apple, as an award to beaut}', to Venus
instead of herself.
Ju'piter. The chief of all the gods of the an-
cients. According to Varro there were three
hundred persons of that name. To him of
Crete, who passed for the son of Saturn and
Ops, the actions of the rest have been attrib-
uted. Jupiter was educated in a cave on
Mount Ida, in Crete, and fed with the milk of
the goat Amaltha^a. While he was very
young he made war on the Titans, whom he
conquered. The beginning of his reign in the
supernal regions was interrupted by the re-
bellion of the giants who were sons of the
Earth, and who were desirous of revenging
the death of the Titans, but by the aid of
Hercules Jupiter overpowered them. Jupiter
married Metis, Themis, Ceres, Euronyme,
Mnemosyne, Latona, and Juno. His worship
was universal : he was the Amnion of the
Africans, the Belus of Babylon, and the Osiris
Juvena'lis, D. Junius. A poet born at Aquinum
in Italy. lie came to Rome at an early age.
where he applied himself to the writing of
satires, some of which are extant. He died
in the reign of Trajan a.d. 128. His writings
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY TI3
. . are distinguished by a lively style, but abound
with ill humor.
Labe'rius, J. Dec'imus. A Roman knight famous
for his skill in writing pantomimes. Csesar
made him appear on the stage in one of his
plays, which he resented by throwing out
aspersions on Csesar during the performance,
and b) warning the audience against tyranny.
Lach esis. One of the Parcae, or Fates. She
presided over futurity, and was represented
as spinning the thread of life, or according to
some as holding the spindle.
Laertes. A king of Ithaca who married Anticlea,
daughter of Autolycus. Ulysses was their
son, and succeeded him on the throne, Laertes
retiring to the country, and devoting his time
to gardening, in which employment he was
found by Ulysses on his return from the Tro-
jan war, after twenty years' absence.
La'gus. A Macedonian of mean extraction, who
married Arsinoe, daughter of Meleager.
On the birth of a child it was exposed in the
woods by Lagus, but an eagle preserved its
life by feeding and sheltering it with her
wings. The infant was afterward known as
King Ptolemy the First of Egypt.
Lais. A woman of immoral character, daughter
of Timandra and Alcibiades. Diogenes, the
Cynic, was one of her admirers, and gained her
heart. She went to Thessaly, where the wo-
men, jealous of her charms, assassinated her,
114 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Laoc oon. A priest of Apollo who in the Trojan
war was opposed to the admission of the
wooden horse to the city. For this, as a
punishment, two enormous serpents were sent
to attack him, which they did while, accom-
panied by his two sons, he was offering a sac-
rifice to Neptune. The serpents coiled round
him and his sons, and crushed them to death.
Lord Byron ("Childe Harold," canto iv.) thus
alludes to the Laocoon group in marble in the
" Or, turning to the Vatican, go see
Laocoon's torture, dignifying pain —
A father's love and mortal's agony
With an immortal's patience blending. Vain
The struggle; vain, against the coiling strain
And gripe, and deepening of the dragon's grasp,
The old man's clench; the long, envenom'd chain
Rivets the living links— the enormous asp
Enforces pang on pang, and stifles gasp on gasp."
Laom'edon. Son of Ilus, and king of Troy. He
married Strynio, called by some Placia or
Leucippe. Podarces, afterward known as
Priam, was their son. Laomedon built the
walls of Troy, in which he was assisted by
Apollo and Neptune.
Lap ithus. A son of Apollo and Stilbe. He
married Orsinome, Phorbas and Periphas
being their children, to whose numerous de-
scendants was given the name Lapithae, a
number of whom attended the nuptials of
Pirithous with Hippodamia, the daughter of
Adrastus, king of Argos. The Centaurs also
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I15
attended the festivity, and quarreled with the
Lapithse, which resulted in blows and slaugh-
ter. Many of the Centaurs were slain, and
they were at last obliged to retire.
Lares. Gods of inferior power at Rome, who
presided over houses and families. They
were two in number, sons of Mercury and
Lati'nus. A son of Faunus and Marica. king of
the Aborigines in Italy, who from him were
Lato'na. A daughter of Coeus, the Titan, and
Phoebe. She was admired for her beauty
by Jupiter. Juno made Latona the object of
her vengeance, and sent the serpent Python
to persecute her.
Lean'der. A youth of Abydos. He was passion-
ately in love with Hero, a young girl of
Sestos. He was in the habit of swimming
across the Hellespont to visit her, in doing
which, on a tempestuous night, he was
drowned. Lord Byron performed the same
feat in 1810, an exploit which he has cele-
brated in verse in his occasional pieces. He
expresses surprise that, as the truth of Lean-
der's story had been questioned, no one had
hitherto tested its practicability.
Le'da. A daughter of king Thespius and Eury-
themis, who married Tyndarus. king of
Sparta. She is famous for her intrigue with
Jupiter. She was the mother of Pollux,
Helena, Castor, and Clytemnestra. She is
ri6 CLASfilCAT, DICTIONARY
said to have received the name- of Nemesis
Lem'ures. The manes of the dead. The an-
cients supposed that after death the departed
souls wandered over the world and disturbed
the peace of its inhabitants.
Leon'idas. A celebrated king of Lacedsemon
who went to oppose Xerxes, king of Persia,
who had invaded Greece with a vast army.
A great battle was fought at Thermopylae, the
entire army of Leonidas consisting of 300 men
who refused to abandon him. For a time this
small army resisted the vast legions of Xerxes,
till at length a traitor conducted a detachment
of Persians by a secret path to the rear of
Leonidas, when his soldiers were cut to pieces,
one only of the 300 escaping. The late Rev.
George Croly, author of "Salathiel," wrote a
poem, called "The Death of Leonidas,"
which, after describing in vivid language the
determined valor of the Greeks, thus con-
" Thus fought the Greek of old;
Thus will he fight again:
Shall not the self-same mould
Bring forth the self-same men?"
Lepi'dus, M. ^Emilius. A celebrated Roman,
one of the triumvirs with Augustus and An-
tony. He was of an illustrious family, and,
like many of his contemporaries, remarkable
for ambition. He was unable to maintain his
position as triumvir; and, resigning power,
he sank into obscurity.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY II7
Le'the. One of the rivers of hell, whose waters
were imbibed by the souls of the dead which
had been for a certain period confined in Tar-
tarus. Those who drank of this river forgot
whatever they had previously known. In
this sense the word is constantly used by the
poets. Thus Shakspeare (Henry IV. part ii.
act V. scene 2) says :
" May this be washed in Lethe and for.e:otten."
Leucip'pus. A celebrated philosopher of Abdera,
about 428 years before Christ. He was a dis-
ciple of Zeno. His life was written by Diog-
enes. There were several others of the same
Leuc tra. A village in Boeotia, famous for the
victory which Epaminondas, the Theban gen-
eral, obtained over the superior force of Cle-
ombrotus, king of Sparta, b.c. 371.
Licinius, C. A tribune of the people celebrated
for his intrigues and ability. He was a ple-
beian, and was the first of that class that was
raised to the office of master of the horse to
the dictator. There were a number of other
Romans of the same name.
Liv'ius, Ti'tus. A native of Padua, a celebrated
historian. He passed the chief part of his
time at Naples and Rome, but more particu-
larly at the court of Augustus, who liberally
patronized him. The name of Livy is ren-
dered immortal by his history of the Roman
empire. The merit of this history is admitted
by all, and the high rank which Livy holds
Il8 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
among historians is undisputed. Lord Byron
speaks of it in his "Childe Harold" as "Livy s
picture page. "
Liv ius, Androni cus. A dramatic poet Avho flour-
ished at Rome about 240 years before the
Longi nus, Dionys ius Cas sius. A celebrated
Greek philosopher of Athens. He was pre-
ceptor of the Greek language, and afterward
minister, to Zenobia, the famous queen of
Luca nus, M. Annae us. A native of Corduba in
Spain. At an early age he went to Rome,
where his rising talents recommended him to
the emperor Nero. He unwisely entered into
a poetical contest with Nero, in which he ob-
tained an easy victory, which greatly offended
the emperor. After this Lucan was exposed
to much annoyance from Nero, and was in-
duced to join in a conspiracy against him, on
which he was condemned to death, the mode
of which he had the liberty of choosing. He
decided to have his veins opened in a warm
bath, and died quoting some lines from his
"Pharsalia. " Of all his works none but the
" Pharsalia" remains.
Lucia nus. A celebrated writer of Samosata.
His works are numerous, consisting chiefly of
dialogues written with much force. He died
A.i). 180, being, as some say, torn in pieces by
dogs for his impiety.
Lu cifer. The name of the planet Venus, or
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY II9
morning star. It is called Lucifer when ap-
pearing in the morning before the sun, but
when it appears after its setting it is called
Lucil ius, C. A Roman knight, who is regarded
as the first satirical writer among the Romans.
Of thirty satires which he wrote only a few
verses remain. He died at Naples B.C. 103.
Lucilius Luci'nus. A famous Roman who fled
with Brutus from the battle of Philippi. He
was taken prisoner, but the conquerors spared
Luci na. A daughter of Jupiter and Juno. She
was the goddess who presided over the birth
Lucre tia. A celebrated Roman lady, daughter
of Lucretius and wife of Tarquinius Colla-
tinus. A number of young noble Romans at
Ardea, among whom were Collatinus and the
sons of Tarquin the Proud, were discussing
the virtues of their wives at home, and it was
agreed to go to Rome to ascertain how their
wives employed themselves in their husbands'
absence in the camp. While the wives of the
others were indulging in feasting and dissipa-
tion, Lucretia was found in her house em-
ploying herself with her servants in domestic
duties. She was brutally treated by Sextus
Tarquin, a relative of Collatinus, and stabbed
herself. This was the signal for a rebellion,
the result being the expulsion of the Tarquins
I20 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Lucretius, Ca'rus T. A celebrated Roman poet
and philosopher. The tenets of Epicurus
were embraced by him, and were explained
and elucidated in a poem which he wrote,
De rerum fiaturd. This poem is distin-
guished by genius and elegance, but the doc-
trines it inculcates have an atheistical tend-
ency. Lucretius is said to have destroyed
himself b.c. 54.
Lucul'lus, Lucius Licin ius. A Roman noted
for his fondness of luxury and for his military
abilities. He was born about 115 years be
fore the Christian era, and distinguished him
self by his proficiency in eloquence and phil
osophy. He was soon advanced to the con
sulship, and entrusted with the managemen
of the Mithridatic war, in which he displayec
his military talents.
Lycur'gus. A celebrated lawgiver of Sparta, son
of King Eunomus and brother to Polydectes.
He succeeded his brother on the Spartan
throne. In the laws which he enacted he
maintained a just equilibrium between the
throne and the people ; he banished luxury
and encouraged the useful arts, and adopted
a number of measures having for their object
the well-being of the people. Lycurgus has
been compared with Solon, the celebrated
legislator of Athens.
Lyn'ceus, son of Aphareus, was one of the hunt-
ers of the Calydonian boar, and one of the
Argonauts. He was so sharp-sighted that he
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 121
could see through the earth and distinguish
objects at a great distance from him. There
was another person of the same name who
married Hypermnestra, daughter of Danaus.
Lysan'der. A celebrated general of Sparta in the
last years of the Peloponnesian war. He
drew Ephesus from the interest of Athens,
and gained the friendship of Cyrus the
younger. He gave battle to the Athenian
fleet, and destroyed it all except three ships.
In this battle, which was fought 405 years be-
fore the Christian era, the Athenians lost a
great number of men, and in consequence of
it forfeited their influence over neighboring
states. Lysander was killed in battle 394
Lysim achus. A son of Agathocles, who was
one of the generals of Alexander. After the
death of that monarch Lysimachus made him-
self master of Thrace, where he built a town
which he called Lysimachia.
Lysip'pus. A famous statuary of vSicyon. He
applied himself to painting, but he was born
to excel in sculpture. He lived about 325
years before the Christian era, in the age of
Alexander the Great.
Macro'bius. A Latin writer who died a.d. 415.
He has rendered himself famous for a com-
position called Saturmilia, a miscellaneous
collection of antiquarian and critical literature.
Msander. A celebrated river of Asia Minor
122 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
flowing into the ..^gean Sea. It is famous
among the poets for its windings, and from
it the application of the word "meandering"
to a winding stream has become proverbial.
Maece nas, or Mecae nas, C. Clinius, a celebrated
Roman knight, has rendered himself im-
mortal by his liberal patronage of learned
men. To the interference of Maecenas, Virgil
was indebted for the restitution of his lands.
Maecenas, according to the received opinion,
wrote a history of animals and a journal of
the life of Augustus. Virgil dedicated his
Georgics to him, as did Horace his Odes.
Ma nes. A name applied by the ancients to the
soul when departed from the body.
Man lius, Marcus. A celebrated Iloman who, at
an early age, distinguished himself for valor.
When Rome was taken by the Gauls, he, with
a body of his countrymen, fled to the Capitol,
which he defended when it was surprised in
the night by the enemy. This gained him
the surname of Capitoliniis, and the geese
which had awakened him to action by their
clamor were afterward held sacred among
Mara thon. A village of Attica, celebrated for
the victory which the Athenians and Platseans,
under the command of Miltiades, gained over
the Persian army, 490 h.c. Lord Byron
("Don Juan," canto ill. verse 86) alludes to
Marathon, and the famous battle fought
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I23
" The mountains look on Marathon,
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And, musing there an hour alone,
I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
For, standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave."
Marcel lus, Mar cus Clau dius. A famous Roman
general. He was the first Roman who ob-
tained some advantage over Hannibal. He
conquered Syracuse, with the spoils from
which he adorned Rome. He was killed in
battle in his fifth consulship.
Marcel'lus. A Roman who distinguished himself
in the civil wars of Caesar and Pompey by his
firm attachment to the latter. He was ban-
ished by Caesar, but was afterwards recalled
at the request of the Senate. Pope ("Essay
on Man," epistle iv.) has a couplet referring
to him : —
" And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Caesar with a senate at his heels."
There were some other Romans of the same
name, of minor repute.
Mardo'nius. A general in the army of Xerxes
who was defeated in the battle of Plataea,
where he was slain, B.C. 479.
Ma rius, C. A celebrated Roman who signalized
himself under Scipio at the siege of Xumantia.
He was appointed to finish the war against
Jugurtha, who was defeated and betrayed into
the hands of the Romans. After this new
honors awaited Marius. He was elected
T24 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
consul, and was sent against the Teutones.
The war was prolonged, and Marius was a
third and fourth time invested with the con-
sulship. At length two engagements were
fought, and the Teutones were defeated, a
vast number of them being left dead on the
battle-fields. After many vicissitudes Marius
died, B.C. 86, directly after he had been hon-
ored with the consulship for the seventh time.
There were a number of others of the same
name, but of minor note.
Mars, the god of war, was the son of Jupiter and
Juno, or of Juno alone, according to Ovid.
The loves of Mars and Venus are greatly cele-
brated. On one occasion, while in each
other's conipany, Vulcan spread a net round
them, from which they could not escape with-
out assistance. They were thus exposed to
the ridicule of the gods till Neptune induced
Vulcan to set them at liberty. During the
Trojan war Mars interested himself on the
side of the Trojans, and 'defended the favor-
ites of Venus with great determination.
Mar'syas. A celebrated piper of Cclajne in
Phrygia. He challenged Apollo to a trial of
skill in music, which challenge was accepted,
the Muses being appointed umpires. The
palm of victory was awarded to Apollo, who
tied his antagonist to a tree and flayed him.
Martia'lis, Marcus Valerius. A native of Spain
who came to Rome when he was about twenty
years old, where he became n<;ticeable by his
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 125
poetical genius. Martial wrote fourteen books
of epigrams and died in the seventy-fifth year
of his age.
Masinis'sa. A king of a small part of Africa,
who at first assisted the Carthaginians in their
wars against Rome, but who subsequently be-
came an ally of the Romans. After his de-
feat of Syphax he married Sophonisba, the
wife of Syphax, which gave offense to the
Roman general, Scipio, on which Masinissa
induced Sophonisba to end her life by poison.
In the battle of Zama, Masinissa greatly con-
tributed to the defeat of Hannibal. He died
in his ninety-seventh year, 149 years before
the Christian era.
Mauso lus. A kingof Caria. His wife Artemisia
was very disconsolate at his death, and erected
one of the grandest monuments of antiquity
to perpetuate his memory. This famous
building, which was deemed to be one of the
seven wonders of the world, was called
"Mausoleum," which name has been since ap-
plied to other grand sepulchral monuments.
Maximi'nus, Ca'ius Ju'lius Ve'rus, was the son of
a peasant of Thrace. He entered the Roman
armies, where he gradually rose till he was
proclaimed emperor a.d. 235. He ruled with
great cruelty, and was eventually killed by
his own soldiers. He was of immense size
and strength, and was able to break the hard-
est stones between his fingers.
Medea. A celebrated magician, daughter of
126 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
-(Eetes, king of Colchis, and niece of Cuxe.
When Jason came to Colchis in quest of the
Golden Fleece. Medea fell in love with him,
and they exchanged oaths of fidelity, and
when he had overcome all the difficulties
which he had to encounter, Medea embarked
with him for Greece. She lived in Corinth
with her husband Jason for ten years, with
much conjugal happiness, when he became
enamored with Glance, daughter of Creon,
king of Corinth. To avenge herself on Jason
she caused the destruction of Glauce, and
killed her two children in his presence.
Medusa. One of the three Gorgons. daughter of
Phorcys and Ceto. She was the only one of
the Gorgons subject to mortality. She was
celebrated for her personal charms and the
beauty of her hair, which Minerva changed
into serpents. According to Apollodorus and
others, the Gorgons were born with snakes on
their heads instead of hair, and with yellow
wings and brazen hands. Perseus rendered
himself famous by his conquest of Medusa.
He cut off her head and placed it on the aegis
of Minerva. The head had the power of
changing those who looked at it into stone.
Medusa, as we are informed by Lord Lytton,
was an expression applied to Mary Queen of
Scots in her own day, and in his brilliant
poem, "The Last Days of Queen Elizabeth,"
he speaks of the unfortunate queen as
" Thou soft Medusa of the fated line."
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I 27
Melea ger. A celebrated hero of antiquity who
signalized himself in the Argonautic expedi-
tion, and especially by killing the Calydonian
boar, a famous event in mythological history.
Melpomene. One of the Muses, daughter of
Jupiter and Mnemosyne. She presided over
tragedy. She is generally represented as a
young woman wearing a buskin and holding
a dagger in her hand.
Mem non. A king of Ethiopia, son of Tithonus
and Aurora. He came with ten thousand men
to assist Priam in the Trojan war, where he
behaved with great courage, and killed Anti-
lochus, Nestor's son, on which Nestor chal-
lenged Memnon to fight, but he refused on
account of the great age of the challenger ;
but he fought Achilles, who killed him. A
statue was erected in his honor which had the
property of uttering a melodious sound every
day at sunrise. Tennyson, in his "Palace of
Art," alludes to this statue thus : —
" As morn from Memnon drew
Rivers of melodies."
Menander. A celebrated comic poet of Athens,
educated under Theophrastus. He was uni-
versally esteemed by the Greeks. He wrote
io3 comedies, of which only a few fragments
Menela'us. A king of Sparta, brother to
Agamemnon. He married Helen, the most
beautiful woman of her time. Paris, having
arrived in Sparta in the absence of Menelaus,
I2S CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
persuaded her to elope with him. which was
the cause of the Trojan war. In the tenth
year of the war Helen, it is said, obtained the
forgiveness of Menelaus, with whom she re-
turned to Sparta, where, shortly after his re-
turn, he died.
Mene nius Agrip'pa. A celebrated Roman who
appeased the Roman populace in the infancy
of the consular government by repeating to
them the well-known fable of the belly and
limbs. He lived B.C. 495.
Menip'pus. A Cynic philosopher of Phoenicia.
He was originally a slave, and, obtaining his
liberty, became notorious as a usurer. He
wrote thirteen books of satires.
Mentor. A faithful friend of Ulysses, and guide
and instructor of his son, Telemachus. The
term Mentor has become proverbial as applied
to any one who is an educator of youth.
Mercu'rius. A celebrated god of antiquity, called
Hermes by the (ireeks. He was the mes-
senger of the gods, and conducted the souls of
the dead into the infernal regions. He pre-
sided over orators, merchants, and was also
the god of thieves. The invention of the lyre
is ascribed to him. This he gave to Apollo,
and received in exchange theCaduceus. which
the god of poetry used to drive the flocks of
Mer ope. One of the Atlantides. She married
Sisyphus, son of ^olus, and was changed into
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I 29
Me'rops. A king of the island of Cos, who mar-
ried Clymene, one of the Oceanides. He was
changed into an eagle, and placed among the
Messali'na, Valeria, was notorious for her vices.
She married the emperor Claudius, who,
wearied with her misconduct, cited her to ap-
pear before him and reply to the accusations
which were brought against her, on which she
attempted to destroy herself, but failing to do
so, was slain by one of the tribunes who had
been sent to summon her.
Metelli. The surname of the family of the
Ccccilii at Rome, the most noted of whom are
—a general who defeated the Achaeans, took
Thebes, and invaded Macedonia; Quintus
Csecilius. rendered famous by his successes
against Jugurtha. the king of Numidia; Q.
Csecilius Celer, who distinguished himself
against Catiline. He died fifty-seven years
before Christ, greatly lamented by Cicero,
who was one of his warmest friends ; L. Cae-
cilius, a tribune in the civil wars of Ccesarand
Pompey, who favored the cause of Pompey ;
Q. Csecilius, a warlike general who conquered
Crete and Macedonia; Metellus Cimber, one
of the conspirators against Caesar. He gave
the signal to attack and murder the dictator.
Micip'sa. A king of Numidia, son of Masinissa.
who, at his death, b.c. 119, left his kingdom
between his sons, Adherbal and Hiempsal,
and his nephew Jugurtha.
Mi'das. A king of Phrygias, son of Gordius oi
Gorgias. According to some traditions, in
the early part of his life he found a treasure,
to which he owed his greatness and opulence.
He showed hospitality to Silenus, in return
for which Bacchus permitted him to choose
whatever recompense he pleased. He de-
manded of the god that whatever he touched
might be turned into gold. His wish was
granted, but when the very food which he at-
tempted to eat became gold in his mouth he
prayed Bacchus to revoke the favor, and he
was ordered to wash himself in the river
Pactolus, the sands oi which were turned into
gold by the touch of Midas. Afterward, in
consequence of maintaining that Pan was
superior to Apollo in singing and playing the
flute, he had his ears changed into those of an
ass by the god.
Mi'lo. A celebrated athlete of Crotona in Italy.
He is said to have carried on his shoulders a
bullock for a considerable distance, and to
have killed it with a blow from his fist, and
eaten it in one day. In his old age he at-
tempted to pull up a tree by the roots, which,
when half-cleft, re-united, and his hands re-
maining imprisoned in the tree, he was eaten
by wild beasts, about 500 years before the
Milti'ades, son of Simon, was sent by the Atheni-
ans to take possession of the Chersonesus.
On his arrival he seized some of the principal
inhabitants of the country, made himself ab-
solute in Chersonese, and married the daughter
of Olorus, king of the Thracians. He was
present at the celebrated battle of Marathon,
where the command was ceded to him, owing
to his superior abilities. He obtained the
victory, but an olive crown, which he de-
manded from his fellow-citizens as a reward
for his valor, was refused. Afterwards he
was intrusted with a fleet of seventy ships,
with which to punish some islands which had
revolted to the Persians. At first he was suc-
cessful, but afterward fortune frowned on
him. He was accused of treason and con-
demned to death, but his sentence was, owing
to his great services, commuted. He died in
prison of some wounds he had received which
became incurable. In " Childe Harold" (canto
ii.) Lord Byron alludes to Marathon as
" The battle-field where Persia's victim horde
First bow'd beneath the brunt of Hellas' sword."
Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, war, and all the
liberal arts, sprang, full-grown and armed,
from the head of Jupiter, and was immediately
admitted to the assembly of the gods, and be-
came one of the most faithful counselors of
her father. Her power in heaven was great :
she could hurl the thunders of Jupiter, prolong
the life of men, and bestow the gift of proph-
ecy. She was known among the ancients
by many names. She was called Athena.
1^2 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Pallas, Parthenos, Tritonia (because she was
worshipped near the lakeTritonis) and Hippia
(because she first taught mankind how to
manage the horse) , Sais (because she was
worshipped at Sais) , and some other ames.
She is usually represented with a helmet on
her head with a large plume on it, in one hand
holding a spear, and in the other a shield with
the head of Medusa on it. Temples were
erected for her worship in different places.
one of the most renowned of which was the
Parthenon at Athens. From this building a
large collection of ancient sculpture was
brought to the British Museum by Lord Elgin
more than seventy years ago. which is known
as the "Elgin Marbles." Lord Byron wrote a
scathing satire in reference to the removal of
these marbles, familiar to his readers undei
the title of "The Curse of Minerva." He de-
scribes the goddess as appearing, grief-
stricken, to appeal against what his lordship
deemed a desecration : —
" Yes, t'was Minerva's self; but ah, how changed
Since o'er the Dardan field in arms she ranged !
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared frorn Phidias' plastic hand;
Gon2 were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle segis bore no Gorgon now."
Minos. A king of Crete, son of Jupiter and
Europa. who gave laws to his subjects B.C.
1406, which remained in full force in the age
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 133
Mi'nos the Second was a son of Lycastes, the son
of Minos the first, and king of Crete. He
married Pasiphse, the daughter of Sol and
Minotau rus. A celebrated monster, half a man
and half a bull, for which a number of young
Athenian men and maidens were yearly ex-
acted to be devoured. The Minotaur was
confined in a famous labyrinth, where at
length it was slain by Theseus, who was
guided out of the labyrinth by a clue of thread
given to him by Ariadne, daughter of King
Mithrida'tes First, king of Pontus. He was
tributary to the crown of Persia : his attempts
to make himself independent of that fealty
proved fruitless, being defeated in a battle
which he had provoked, and having to sue for
Mithrida'tes, surnamed "Eupator" and "The
Great," succeeded to the throne of Pontus
when eleven years of age. The beginning of
his reign was marked by ambition and cruelty.
At an early age he mured himself to hard-
ships by devoting himself to manly exercises,
■ and sleeping in the open air on the bare earth.
He was constantly engaged in warfare against
the Romans, and his contests with them are
known as the Mithridatic wars. His hatred
of the Romans was so great that, to destroy
their power, he ordered all of them that were
in his dominions to be massacred ; and in one
134 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
night 150,000 according to Plutarch, or 80,000
according to another authority, were slaugh-
tered. This cruel act called for revenge, and
great armies were sent against him. After
varied fortunes Mithridateshad to succumb to
Pompey, and, worn- out with misfortune, at-
tempted to poison himself, but unsuccessfully,
as the numerous antidotes to poison which in
early life he had taken strengthened his con-
stitution to resist the effect. He then ordered
one of his soldiers to give him the fatal blow
with a sword, which was done. He died
about sixty-three years before the Christian
era, in his seventy second year. He is said to
have been the most formidable opponent the
Romans ever had, and Cicero estimates him
as the greatest monarch that ever sat upon a
throne. It is recorded of him that he con-
quered twenty-four nations, whose different
languages he knew and spoke fluently. There
were a number of persons of the same name,
but of inferior note.
Mnemosyne. A daughter of Coelus and Terra,
mother of the nine Muses. Jupiter assumed
the form of a shepherd in order to enjoy her
Mo'mus, the god of mirth amongst the ancients,
according to Hesiod, was the son of Nox. He
amused himself by satirizing the gods by
turning into ridicule whatever they did.
Morpheus. A minister of the god Somnus, who
imitated very naturally the gestures, words,
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I35
and manners of mankind. He is sometimes
called the god of sleep. He is generally rep-
resented as a sleeping child, of great corpu-
lence, with wings.
Mos'chus. A Greek bucolic poet in the age of
Ptolemy Philadelphus. His eclogues are
characterized by sweetness and elegance, and
are said to be equal in merit to the productions
Mure na. A celebrated Roman, who invaded the
dominions of Mithridates, at first with success
but afterward he met with defeat. He was
honored with a triumph on his return to Rome.
Mu'sa. The Muses, certain goddessis who pre-
sided over poetry, music, dancing, and all the
liberal arts. They were daughters of Jupiter
and Mnemosyne, and were nine in number,
Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene. Terpsi-
chore, Erato, Polyhymnia, Calliope, and
Mycenae. A town of Argolis said to have been
built by Perseus. It received its name from
Mycene, a nymph of Laconia. It was taken
and destroyed by the Argives.
Naiades. Inferior deities who presided over
rivers, springs, wells, and fountains. The
Naiads generally inhabited the country, and
resorted to the woods and meadows near the
stream over which they presided. They are
represented as young and beautiful girls lean-
ing on an urn, from which flows a stream of
136 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
water, ^gle was the fairest of them, accord-
ing to Virgil. The word Naiad has become
Anglicized, and is in frequent use, especially
by the poets. Thus Scott says ("Lady of the
Lake," canto i. verse 17),
" In listening mood she seemed to stand
The guardian Naiad of the strand."
Narcis sus. A beautiful youth, son of Cephisus
and the nymph Liriope, was born at Thespis
in Boeotia. He saw his image reflected in a
fountain and became in love with it, thinking
it to be the nymph of the place. His fruitless
attempts to reach this beautiful object so pro-
voked him, that he killed himself. His blood
was changed into a flower which still bears
Nemae'a. A town of Argolis, with a wood where
Hercules in the sixteenth year of his age killed
the celebrated Nemscan lion. It was the first
of the labors of Hercules to destroy the mon-
ster, and when he found that his arrows and
clubs were useless against an animal whose
skin was impenetrable, he seized it in his
arms and strangled it.
Nemesis. One of the infernal deities, daughter
of Nox. She was the goddess of vengeance.
She is made one of the Parctc by some mythol-
ogists, and is represented with a helm and a
wheel. The term is sometimes used to signify
Neoptol emus. A king of Epirus, son of Achilles
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 137
and Deidamia, called also Pyrrhus. He
greatly signalized himself during the siege of
Troy, and he was the first who entered the
wooden horse. He was inferior to none of the
Grecian warriors in valor. Ulysses and Nes-
tor alone were his superiors in eloquence and
Ne'pos, Cornelius. A celebrated historian in the
reign of Augustus, and, like the rest of his
literary contemporaries, he enjoyed the
patronage and obtained the favor of the em-
peror. He was the intimate friend of Cicero
and Atticus, and recommended himself to
notice by delicacy of sentiment and a lively
disposition. Of all his valuable works the
only one extant is his Lives of illustrious
Greek and Roman generals.
Neptu'nus. One of the gods, son of Saturn and
Ops, and brother to Jupiter and Pluto. He
was devoured by his father as soon as he was
born, and restored to life again by a potion
given to Saturn, by Metis, the first wife of
Jupiter. Neptune shared with his brothers
the empire of Saturn, and received as his por-
tion the kingdom of the sea. He did not think
this equivalent to the empire of heaven and
earth which Jupiter had claimed, therefore
he conspired to dethrone him . The conspiracy
was discovered, and Jupiter condemned Nep-
tune to build the walls of Troy. He married
Amphitrite, who thus broke a vow she had
made of perpetual celibacy. The lerm Nep-
138 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
tune is often used to signify the sea itself,
thus Shakspeare ("Tempest," act v. scene i)
" Ye that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune."
Nereides. Nymphs of the sea, daughters of
Nereus and Doris. According to most of the
mytliologists, they were fifty in number.
They are represented as young and handsome
girls, sitting on dolphins and armed with
Nero, Claudius Domit ius Caesar. A celebrated
Roman emperor, son of Caius Domitius
Ahenobarbus and Agrippina, the daughter of
Germanicus. His name is the synonym for
cruelty and vice. In the night it was his wont
to sally out from his palace to visit the mean-
est taverns and the different scenes of de-
pravity that were to be found. He appeared
on the stage, sometimes representing the
meanest characters. He resolved to imitate
the burning of Troy, and caused Rome to be
set on fire in different places, the flames being
unextinguished for nine days, and he enjoyed
the terrible scene. During the conflagration
he placed himself on the top of a tower and
sang, accompanying himself on a lyre, of the
destruction of Troy. Many conspiracies were
formed against him, the most dangerous of
which he was saved from by the confession of
a slave. He killed himself a.d. 68, in the
thirty second year of his age, after a reign of
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I39
thirteen years and eight months. "Wretch
that he was, it is said that he had some few to
mourn for him, and Suetonius records that
some unseen hand had placed flowers on his
tomb. This incident is alluded to by Lord
Byron in these exquisite lines at the end of the
third canto of "Don Juan" :
" When Nero perished by the justest doom,
Which ever the destroyer yet destroyed,
Amidst the roar of liberated Rome,
Of nations freed, and the world overjoy'd,
Some hands unseen strew'd flowers upon his tomb;
Perhaps the weakness of a heart not void
Of feeling for some kindness done when power
Had left the wretch an uncorrupted hour.''
Ner'va, M. Cocce ius. A Roman emperor after
the death of Domitian, a.d. 96. He rendered
himself popular by his mildness and gen-
erosity. In his civil character he set an ex-
ample of good manners and sobriety. He
made an oath that no senator should suffer
death during his reign, which he carried out
by pardoning two members of the senate who
had conspired against his life. He died in
his seventy-second year a.d. gS, and was suc-
ceeded by his son Trajan.
Nessus. A celebrated Centaur killed by Hercules
for insulting Dejanira.
Nes tor. A son of Xeleus and Chloris, nephew to
Pelias, and grandson to Neptune. He was
present at the bloody battle between the
Lapithse and the Centaurs, which took place
at the nuptials of Pirithous. As king of Pylos
14© CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
he led his soldiers to the Trojan war, where
he distinguished himself among the Grecian
chieftains by eloquence, wisdom, and pru-
dence. Homer makes his character as the
most perfect of all his heroes. After the
Trojan war Nestor retired to Greece, where
he lived during his declining 3'ears in peace
and tranquillity. The manner and time of his
death are unknown.
Ni'nus. A son of Belus. He built Nineveh and
founded the Assyrian monarchy, of w^hich he
was the first sovereign, b.c. 2059. ^^ married
Semiramis, whose husband had destroyed
himself through fear of Ninus. He reigned
Ni'obe. A daughter of Tantalus, king of Lydia,
and Euryanassa, or Dione. She married
Amphion, and, according to Hesiod, they
had ten sons and ten daughters. All the sons
of Niobe expired by the darts of Apollo, and
all the daughters, except Chloris, were de-
stroyed by Diana. Niobe, overwhelmed with
grief, was changed into a stone.
Nito'cris. A celebrated queen of Babylon, who
built a bridge across the Euphrates in the
middle of that city, and dug a number of re-
servoirs for the superfluous water of the river.
Nom'ades. A name given to people who had no
fixed habitation, and who continually changed
their place of residence in quest of fresh
pastures for the cattle they tended. There
were Nomades in Scythia, India, Arabia, etc.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I4I
The word is in constant use as Anglicized—
Nomad — meaning any one who leads a wan-
dering and unsettled life.
Nox. One of the most ancient deities among the
heathens, daughter of Chaos. She gave birth
to the Day and the Light, and was mother of
the Parcse, Hesperides, Dreams, Death, etc.
Nu'ma Pompil'ius. A celebrated philosopher of
Cures. He married Tatia, daughter of Tatius,
king of the Sabines. and at her death he re-
tired into the country to devote himself to
literary pursuits. At the death of Romulus
the Romans fixed on him to be their new king.
Numa at first refused the offer of the crown,
but at length was prevailed on to accept it.
He endeavored to inculcate into the minds of
his subjects a reverence for the deity, and he
did all he could to heal their dissensions. He
encouraged the report of his visits to the
nymph Egeria. and made use of her name to
give sanction to the laws which he had made.
He dedicated a temple to Janus, which, dur-
ing his whole reign, remained closed as a
mark of peace and tranquillity at Rome.
Numa died after a reign of forty-three years
(B.C. 672), during which he had given en-
couragement to the useful arts, and had culti-
Nym'phae. Certain female deities among the
ancients. They were generally divided into
two classes — nymphs of the land and nymphs
of the sea. Of the former some presided over
142 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
woods, and were called Dryades and Hama-
dryades. Of the sea nymphs some were called
Oceanides, Nereides, Naiades, etc.
Ocean ides and Oceanit'ides. Sea nymphs,
daughters of Oceanus, from whom they re-
ceived their name. According to Apollodorus
they were 3,000 in number, while Hesiod
speaks of them as consisting of forty-one.
Oce'anus. A powerful deity of the sea, son of
Coelus and Terra. He married Tethys, the
Oceanides being their children.
Octa'via. A Roman lady, sister to the emperor
Augustus, celebrated for her beauty and
virtues. She married Claudius Marcellus,
and, after his death, Antony, who for some
time was attentive to her, but eventually de-
serted her for Cleopatra.
Octavia nus, or Octa vius Caesar. A famous
Roman, who, after the battle of Actium, had
bestowed on him by the senate the surname
Augustus, as expressing his dignity and
Odena'tus. A celebrated prince of Palmyra. At
an early period of his life he inured himself
to bear fatigue by hunting wild beasts. He
was a faithful ally of the Romans, and gave
great offense to Sapor, king of Persia, in con-
sequence. In the warfare which ensued he
obtained advantage over the troops of Sapor,
and took his wife prisoner, besides gaining
great booty. He died by the hand of one of
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 143
his relations whom he had offended. Zenobia
succeeded him on the throne.
CE'dipus. A son of Laius, king of Thebes, and
Jocasta. Laius was informed by the oracle,
as soon as he married Jocasta, that he would
perish by the hands of his son. On his birth
CEdipus was given to a domestic, with orders
to expose him to death on the mountains,
where he was found by one of the shepherds
of Polybus, king of Corinth. Periboea, the
wife of Polybus, educated him as her own
child, tending him with great care. In after
life he met Laius in a narrow lane in a chariot,
and being haughtily ordered to make way for
Laius, a combat ensued in which Laius was
slain. After this CEdipus was attracted to
Thebes by the fame of the Sphinx, who de-
voured all those who attempted to explain
without success the enigmas which she pro-
pounded. The enigma proposed by the
Sphinx to CEdipus was : — What animal in the
morning walks upon four feet, at noon upon
two, and in the evening upon three? CEdipus
solved the riddle by replying that the animal
was man, who in childhood crawls on his
hands and feet, on attaining manhood walks
on two feet erect, and in the evening of life
supports his tottering steps with a staff. The
monster, on hearing the correct solution of the
riddle, dashed her head against a rock and
CE'neus. A king of Calydon, son of Parthaon or
144 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Portheus and Euryte. He married Althaea,
their children being Clymenus, Meleager,
Gorge, and Dejanira. In a general sacrifice he
made to the gods he slighted Diana, who, in
revenge, sent a wild boar to waste his country.
The animal was killed by Meleager in the
celebrated Calydonian boar hunt. After this
misfortunes overtook CEneus, and he exiled
himself from Calydon, and died on his way to
GEnom'aus. King of Pisa, in Elis, and father of
Hippodamia. He was told by the oracle that
he would perish by his son-in-law. Being
skilful in driving a chariot, he announced that
he would give his daughter in marriage only
to some one who could defeat him in a race,
death being the result to those who were de-
feated. After a number of aspirants had con-
tended and failed, Pelops, son of Tantalus,
entered the lists, and by bribing the charioteer
of CEnomaus. who provided a chariot with a
broken axle-tree, Pelops won the race, and
married Hippodamia, becoming king of Persia.
CEnomaus was killed in the race.
Olym'pia. Celebrated games which received their
name either from Olympia. where they were
observed, or from Jupiter Olympius, to whom
they were dedicated.
Olym'pus. A mountain in Macedonia and Thes-
saly. The ancients supposed that it touched
the heavens, and thus they have made it the
residence of the gods, and the place where
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I45
Jupiter held his court. On the top of the
mountain, according to the poets, eternal
Om'phale. A queen of Lydia, daughter of Jar-
danus. She married Tmolus, who at his
death left her mistress of his kingdom. She
had heard of the exploits of Hercules, and
wished to see him. After he had slain
Eurytus, Hercules was ordered to be sold as
a slave, and was purchased by Omphale, who
gave him his liberty. He became in love
with Omphale, who reciprocated his passion.
He is represented by the poets as being so
infatuated with her that he sat spinning by
her side surrounded by her women, while she
garbed herself with his lion's skin, arming
herself with his club.
Oppianus. A Greek poet of Cilicia. He wrote
some poems celebrated for their sublimity
and elegance. Caracalla gave him a piece of
gold for every verse in one of his poems.
Oppian died of the plague in the thirtieth
year of his age.
Ops. A daughter of Coelus and Terra, the same
as the Rhea of the Greeks, who married
Saturn, and became mother of Jupiter. She
was known among the ancients by the dif-
ferent names of Cybele, Bona Dea. Magna
Mater, Thya. Tellus, and Proserpina.
Ores'tes. A son of Agamemnon and Clytem-
nestra. His father was slain by Clytemnestra
and ^gisthus, but young Orestes was saved
146 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
from his mother's dagger by his sister Electra,
called by Homer Laodicea. and was conveyed
to the house of Strophius, king of Phocis, who
had married a sister of Agamemnon. He
was indulgently treated by Strophius, who
educated him with his son Pylades. The two
young princes formed the most inviolable
friendship. When Orestes had arrived at
years of manhood he avenged his father's
death by killing his mother Clytemnestra.
Or'igen. A Greek writer, celebrated for his
learning and the sublimity of his genius. He
suffered martyrdom in his sixty-ninth year.
His works are numerous, consisting of com-
mentaries on the Scriptures and various
Orpheus. A son of Q£ger and the Muse Calliope.
Some suppose him to be the son of Apollo.
He received a lyre from Apollo, or, according
to some, from Mercury, on which he played
in such a masterly manner that the melodious
sounds caused rivers to cease to flow, and
savage beasts to forget their wildness. He
married Eurydice, who died from the bite of
a serpent. Orpheus felt her death acutely,
and to recover her he visited the infernal re-
gions. Pluto, the king of the infernal re-
gions, was enraptured with the strains of
music from the lyre of Orpheus, and, accord-
ing to the poets, the wheel of Ixion stopped,
the stone of Sisyphus stood still, Tantalus
forgot his burning thirst, and even the Furies
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY T47
relented, so fascinating were the .sounds ex-
tracted from the lyre. Phito was moved by
the sorrow of Orpheus, and consented to re-
store Eurydice to him, provided he forbore to
look behind him till he had reached the ex-
tremity of his domain. Orpheus agreed to
this, but forgot his promise, and turned round
to look at Eurydice, who instantly vanished
from his sight. After this he separated him-
self from the society of mankind, and the
Thracian women, whom he had offended by
his coldness, attacked him while they cele-
brated the orgies of Bacchus, and after they
had torn his body to pieces they threw his head
into the Hebrus. Mr. Wiffen, in a translation
from the Spanish of Garcilaso de la Vega, thus
beautifully alludes to the strains of Orpheus :
" Had I the sweet resounding: lyre,
Whose voice could in a moment chain
The howling wind's ungovern'd ire.
And movement of the raging main.
On savage hill the leopard rein.
The lion's fiery soul entrance.
And lead along with golden tones.
The fascinated trees and stones.
In voluntary dance.''
Osi'ris. A great deity of the Egyptians, husband
of Isis. The ancients differ in opinion con-
cerning this celebrated god. but they all agree
that as ruler of Egypt he took care to civilize
his subjects, to improve their morals, to give
them good and salutary laws, and to teach
148 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Ovid'ius, P. Na'so. A celebrated Roman poet
born at Sulmo. He was sent at an early age
to Rome, and afterward went to Athens in
the sixteenth year of his age, where his prog-
ress in the study of eloquence was great. His
natural inclination, however, w^as toward
poetry, and to this he devoted his chief atten-
tion. His lively genius and fertile imagina-
tion soon gained him admirers ; the learned
became his friends ; Virgil, Propertius,
Horace, and Tibullus honored him with their
correspondence, and Augustus patronized him
with unbounded liberality. These favors,
however, were transitory, and he was ban-
ished to a place on the Euxine Sea by order
of the emperor. The true cause of his ban-
ishment is not known. His friends ardently
entreated the emperor to permit him to return,
but in vain, and he died in the seventh or
eighth year of his banishment, in the fifty-
ninth year of his age, A.D.17. A great por-
tion of his works remains. These consist of
the "Metamorphoses," "Fasti," "Epistolse,"
etc. "While his works are occasionally disfig-
ured by indelicacy, they are distinguished by
great sweetness and elegance.
Pacto'lus. A celebrated river of Lydia. It was
in this river that Midas washed himself when
he turned into gold whatever he touched.
Pae'an. A surname of Apollo derived from the
word pcEan, a hymn which was sung in his
honor for killing the serpent Python.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I49
Palae'mon or Pale'mon. A sea deity, son of
Athamas and Ino. His original name was
Melicerta. He assumed the name of Palaemon
after being changed into a sea deity by Nep-
Palame des. A Grecian chief, son of Nauplius.
king of Euboea, and Clymene. He was sent
by the Greek princes, who were going to the
Trojan war, to bring Ulysses to the camp,
who, to withdraw himself from the expedi-
tion, had pretended to be insane. Palamedes
soon penetrated the deception, and Ulysses
was obliged to join in the war. but an invet-
erate enmity arose between the two, and by
an unworthy artifice Ulysses procured the
death of Palamedes. Palamedes is accredited
with the invention of dice, backgammon, and
Palatinus, Mens. A celebrated hill, the largest
of the seven hills on which Rome was built.
Palinu'rus. A skillful pilot of the ship of ^neas.
He fell into the sea while asleep, and was ex-
posed to the waves for three days, and on
reaching the shore was murdered by the in-
habitants of the place where he landed.
Palladium. A celebrated statue of Pallas. It
represented the goddess as holding a spear in
her right hand, and in her left a distaff and
spindle. It fell down from heaven near the
tent of Ilus as he was building the citadel of
Ilium, while, according to others, it fell in
Phrygia ; another account says Dardanus re-
150 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
ceived it as a present from his mother Electra ;
other accounts are given of its origin. It is
generally agreed, however, that on the pres-
ervation of the statue the fate of Troy de-
pended. This was known to the Greeks dur-
ing the Trojan war, and they contrived to
obtain possession of it. But some authors
say that the true Palladium was not carried
away by the Greeks, but only a statue which
had been placed near it, and which bore some
resemblance to it.
Pallas. A name of Minerva. She is said to
have received the name because she killed a
noted giant bearing that name.
Palmy ra. The capital of Palmyrene, a country
on the eastern boundaries of Syria, now called
Tadmor. It is famous as being the seat of
government of the celebrated Queen Zenobia.
Pan. The god of shepherds, huntsmen, and the
inhabitants of the country. He was in ap-
pearance a monster; he liad two small horns
on his head, and his legs, thighs, tail, and
feet were like those of the goat.
Pan'darus. A son of Lycaon, who aided the
Trojans in their war with the Greeks. He
broke the truce which had been agreed on by
the contending armies, and wounded Mene-
laus and Diomedes. He was at last killed by
Pandi on. A king of Athens, father of Procne and
Philomela. During his reign there was such
ail abundance of corn, wine, and oil in his
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 151
realm that it was supposed that Bacchus and
Minerva had personally visited the country.
Pandora. A celebrated woman ; the first mortal
female that ever lived, according to Hesiod.
She was made of clay by Vulcan, and having
received life, all the gods made presents to
her. Venus gave her beauty and the art of
pleasing ; the Graces gave her the power of
captivating ; Apollo taught her how to sing,
and Mercury instructed her in eloquence.
Jupiter gave her a beautiful box, which she
was ordered to present to the man who mar-
ried her. This was Epimetheus, brother of
Prometheus, who opened the box, from which
issued a multitude of evils, which became dis-
persed all over the world, and which from
that fatal moment have never ceased to affect
the human race. Hope alone remained at the
bottom of the box.
Pansa, C. Vib'tus. A Roman consul, who, with
Hirtius, pursued the assassins of Caesar, and
was killed in a battle near Mutina.
Pantheon. A celebrated temple at Rome, built
by Agrippa in the reign of Augustus, and
dedicated to all the gods.
Par'cae. The Fates, powerful goddesses who
presided over the birth and life of mankind.
They were three in number, Clotho, Lachesis,
and Atropos, daughters of Nox and Erebus,
according to Hesiod, or, according to what he
says in another place, of Jupiter and Themis.
Paris. The son of Priam, king of Troy, and
152 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Hecuba ; he was also called Alexander. He
was destined before his birth to cause the ruin
of his country, and before he was born his
mother dreamt that he would be a torch which
would set fire to her palace. The soothsayers
predicted that he would be the cause of the
destruction of Troy. In consequence of these
foretold calamities Priam ordered a slave to
destroy the child immediately after birth, but
instead of acting thus the slave exposed the
child on Mount Ida, where some shepherds
found him and took care of him. Paris gave
early proofs of courage, and his graceful con-
tenance recommended him to CEnone, a
nymph of Ida, whom he married. At the
marriage of Peleus and Thetis the goddess of
discord, who had not been invited, showed
her displeasure by throwing into the assembly
of the gods, who were at the nuptials, a
golden apple, on which were the words : — Let
it be given to the fairest. The apple was
claimed by Juno, Venus, and Minerva. Paris,
who had been appointed to award it to the
most beautiful of the three goddesses, gave it
to Venus. Subsequently I^aris visited Sparta,
where he persuaded Helen, wife of Menelaus,
the most beautiful woman of the age, to elope
with him. This caused the Trojan war. Dif-
ferent accounts are given of the death of Paris.
By some he if? said to have been killed by one
of the arrows of Philoctetes which had once
belonged to Hercules.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY T53
Parme'nio. A celebrated general in the armies
of Alexander the Great, by whom he was re-
garded with the greatest affection. The firm
friendship which existed between the two
generals was broken in a sudden fit of anger
by Alexander, who ordered his friend to be
put to death, b.c. 330.
Parnassus. A mountain of Phocis sacred to the
Muses, and to Apollo and Bacchus. It was
named thus after a son of Neptune who bore
that designation. Lord Byron alludes to it in
"Childe Harold," canto i. :
" Oh, thou Parnassus ! whom I now survey,
Not in the frenzy of a dreamer's eye,
Not in the fabled landscape of a lay.
But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky,
In the wild pomp of mountain majesty !"'
Parrha'sius. A famous painter of Ephesus in the
age of Zeuxis, about fifteen years before
Christ. He contended on one occasion with
Zeuxis for the palm in painting, and Zeuxis
acknowledged that he was excelled by Par-
Parthenon. A temple of Athens sacred to Mi-
nerva. It was destroyed by the Persians, and
was rebuilt by Pericles.
Pasiph'ae. A daughter of the vSun and of Per-
seis, who married Minos, king of Crete. She
became the mother of the Minotaur which was
killed by Theseus.
Patroclus. One of the Grecian chiefs during the
Trojan war. He contracted an intimate
154 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
friendship with Achilles, and when the Greeks
went to the Trojan war Patroclus accompanied
them. He was the constant companion of
Achilles, living in the same tent, and when
his friend refused to appear in the field of
battle, because of being offended with Aga-
memnon. Patroclus imitated his example.
Nestor, however, prevailed on him again to
take the field, and Achilles lent him his ar-
mor. Hector encountered him, and after a
desperate fight slew him. The Greeks ob-
tained his dead body, which was brought into
the Grecian camp, where Achilles received it
with great lamentation, and again taking the
field, killed Hector, thus avenging the death
of his friend.
Pau lus iEmil'ius. A Roman celebrated for his
military achievements, surnamed "Macedo-
nicus" from his conquest of ]Macedonia. In
earl}' life he distinguished himself by his ap-
plication and for his love for military disci-
pline. In his first consulship he reduced the
Ligurians to subjection, and subsequently
obtained a great victory over the Macedo-
nians, making himself master of the country.
In the office of censor, which he filled, he be-
haved with great moderation, and at his
death, about i68 years before the Christian
era, the Romans mourned deeply for him.
Pausa'nias. A Spartan general who greatly sig-
nalized himself at the battle of Plataea against
the Persians. He afterward, at the head of
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 155
the Spartan armies, extended his conquests in
Asia, but the haughtiness of his behavior
made him many enemies. He offered, on
certain conditions, to betray Greece to the
Persians, but his perfidy was discovered, on
which he fled for safety to a temple of Mi-
nerva, where he was starved to death, b.c.
Peg asus. A winged horse sprung from the blood
of Medusa. According to Ovid he fixed his
abode on Mount Helicon, where, by striking
the earth with his foot, he raised a fountain
which has been called Hippocrene.
Pe lens. A king of Thessaly, son of ^acus and
Endeis, the daughter of Chiron. He married
Thetis, one of the Nereids.
Pe lias. Son of Neptune and Tyro. On his birth
he was exposed in the woods, but his life was
preserved by some shepherds. Subsequently
Tyro was married to Cretheus, king of lolchos.
They had three children, of whom ^son was
the eldest. Pelias visited his mother after
the death of Cretheus, and usurped the author-
ity which properly belonged to the children
of the deceased monarch. Jason, the son of
^son, who had been educated by Chiron, on
attaining manhood demanded the kingdom,
the government of which Pelias had usurped.
Jason was persuaded by Pelias to waive his
claim for the present, and start on the Argo-
nautic expedition. On his return, accompan-
ied by the sorceress Medea, she undertook to
156 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
restore Pelias to youth, explaining that it was
necessary first to cut his body to pieces and
place the limbs in a caldron of boiling water.
This was done, when Medea refused to fulfil
her promise, which she had solemnly made to
the daughters of Pelias, who were four in
number, and who had received the patronymic
of the " Peliades. "
Pe lion, sometimes called Pelios. A celebrated
mountain of Thessaly, the top of which is
covered with pine-trees.
Pelop Idas. A celebrated general of Thebes, son
of Hippoclus. It was owing to his valor and
prudence, combined with the ability of Epam-
inondas, that the famous victory of Leuctra
Pe'lops. A celebrated prince, son of Tantalus,
king of Phrygia. He was killed by his father,
and served up as a feast to the gods, who had
visited Phrygia. He was restored to life, and
married Hippodamia, having won her through
defeating her father in a chariot race.
Penates. Certain inferior deities among the Ro-
mans, who presided over the domestic affairs
Penelope. A celebrated princess of Greece,
daughter of Icarius, and wife of Ulysses,
king of Ithaca. She became the mother of
Telemachus, and was obliged to part, with
great reluctance, from her husband when the
Greeks obliged him to go to the Trojan war.
The strife between the hostile forces continued
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I57
. for ten years, and when Ulysses did not re-
turn home at the conclusion of the war her
fears and anxieties became overwhehning.
She was beset by a number of suitors, who
told her that her husband would never return.
She received their advances with coldness, but
as she was devoid of power, and, as it were,
almost a prisoner in their hands, she tempo-
rized with them. After twenty years' absence
Ulysses returned, and at once delivered her
from the persecutions of her suitors. Penel-
ope is described by Homer as a model of
female propriety, whilst some more modern
writers dispute the correctness of this view.
The accounts given by different authors re-
specting her, in fact, differ materially. By
some she is said to have been the mother of
Penthesile'a. A queen of the Amazons, daughter
of Mars. She came to assist Priam in the last
years of the Trojan war, and was slain by
Per 'gamus. The citadel of the city of Troy The
word is often used to signify Troy. From it
Xerxes reviewed his troops as he marched to
Per'icles. An Athenian of noble family, son of
Xanthippus and Agariste. His naturally
great mental powers were greatly improved
by attending the lectures of Zeno and other
philosophers. He became a commander, a
statesman, and an orator, and gained the es-
158 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
teem of the people by his address and liber-
ality. In his ministerial capacity, Pericles
did not enrich himself. The prosperity and
happiness of Athens was his primary ob-
ject. He made war against the Lacedae-
monians, and restored the temple of Delphi
to the care of the Phocians, who had been
improperly deprived of that honorable trust.
The Peloponnesian war was fomented by his
ambitious views. He at length lost his popu-
larity, but only temporarily, and he was re-
stored to all the honors of which he had been
deprived. A pestilence which prevailed
proved fatal to him in his seventieth year,
about 429 years before Christ.
Perseus. A son of Jupiter and Danae, the
daughter of Acrisius. It had been predicted
by the oracle that Acrisius was to perish by
his daughter's offspring, so Perseus, soon
after his birth, was, with his mother Danae,
thrown into the sea. Both were saved, and
reached the island of Seriphos, where they
were treated kindly by Polydectes, the king,
who, however, soon became jealous of the
genius of Perseus. Perseus had promised
Polydectes to bring him the head of the Gor-
gon Medusa. To enable him to obtain this
Pluto lent him a helmet which made the
wearer invisible, Minerva gave him her buck-
ler, and Mercury furnished him with wings.
Thus equipped he found the Gorgons, and cut
off Medusa's head, with which he fled through
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 159
the air, and from the blood which dropped
from It sprang the horse Pegasus. During
his flight Perseus discovered Andromeda
chained to a rock to be devoured by a sea
monster, which he destroyed, and married
Andromeda. He now returned to vSeriphos,
where he turned into stone Polydectes by
showing him Medusa's head. By an accident,
in throwing a quoit he killed Acrisius, thus
fulfilling the prediction of the oracle.
Perseus or Per ses. A son of Philip, king of
Macedonia. He distinguished himself by his
enmity to the Romans, and when he had made
sufficient preparations he declared war against
them. He, however, wanted courage and
resolution, and though he at first obtained
some advantages over the Roman armies, his
timidity proved destructive to his cause. He
was defeated at Pydna, and soon after was
taken prisoner, and died in prison at Rome.
Per sius, Au lus Flac cus. A Latin poet of Vola-
terrae. He was of a good family, and soon
became intimate with the most illustrious
Romans of his day. The early part of his life
was spent in his native town, but at the age
of sixteen he was removed to Rome, where he
studied philosophy. He died in his thirtieth
year, a.d. 62. The satires of Persius were
read with pleasure and avidity by his con-
Per'tinax, Pub'lius Hel'vius. A Roman emperor
after the death of Comraodus. He was de-
l6o CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
scended from an obscure family, and for some
time was employed in drying wood and mak-
ing charcoal. He entered on a military life,
and by his valor rose to offices of the highest
trust, and was made consul. At the death of
Commodus he was selected to succeed to the
throne. His patriotism gained him the affec-
tion of the worthiest of his subjects, but there
were some who plotted against him. He was
killed by his soldiers a.d. 193.
Petro'nius Arbiter. A favorite of Emperor Nero,
and one of the ministers and associates of his
pleasures and vices. He was made proconsul
of Bithynia, and afterward was honored with
the consulship. Eventually he became out
of favor with Nero, and resolved to destroy
himself, which he did by having his veins
opened, a.u. 66. Petronius distinguished
himself by his writings as well as by his
voluptuousness. He is the author of many
elegant compositions, which are, however,
often characterized by impropriety of lan-
Phaedra. A daughter of Minos and Pasiphae,
who married Theseus. She became the mother
of Acamas and Demophoon. She brought an
unjust accusation against Hippolytus (a son
of The-seus before she married him) , who was
killed by the horses in his chariot taking
fright, causing him to be thrown under the
wheels and crushed to death. On hearing
this Phajdra acknowledged the falseness of
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY l6l
the charge she had brought against Hippo-
lytus, and hanged herself in despair.
Phae'drus. A Thracian who became one of the
freedmen of the emperor Augustus. He
translated the fables of ^sop into Iambic
Pha'ethon. A son of the Sun, or of Phoebus and
Clymene. According to Hesiod and Pausa-
nias he was son of Cephalus and Aurora, or
of Tithonus and Aurora according to Apollo-
dorus. He is, however, generally acknowl-
edged to be son of Phoebus and Clymene.
Phoebus allowed him to drive the chariot of
the sun for one day. Phaethon, on receiving
the reins, at once showed his incapacity ; the
horses became unmanageable, and heaven
and earth were threatened with a conflagra-
tion, when Jupiter struck Phaethon with a
thunderbolt, and hurled him into the river
Po, where he perished.
Phalaris. A tyrant of Agrigentum, who treated
his subjects with great cruelty. Perillus made
him a brazen bull, inside of which he proposed
to place culprits, and by applying fire burn
them to death. The first to be thus burnt in
this manner was Perillus himself. The cruel-
ties practised by Phalaris were revenged by a
revolt of his people, who put him to death by
burning him in the bull.
Pha'on. A boatman of Mitylene, in Lesbos. He
received a box of ointment from Venus, who
had presented herself to him in the form of an
1 62 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
old woman. When he had rubbed himself
with the unguent he became beautiful, and
Sappho, the celebrated poetess, became en-
amored with him. For a short time he de-
voted himself to her, but soon treated her
with coldness, upon which she threw herself
into the sea and was drowned.
Pharnaba'zus. A satrap of Persia who assisted
the Lacedaemonians against the Athenians,
and gained their esteem by his devotion to
Pha'ros. A small island in the bay of Alexan-
dria, on which was built a tower which was
considered one of the seven wonders of the
world. It was erected in the reigns of Ptolem}'
Soter and Ptolemy Philadelphus, the architect
being Sostratus, the son of Dexiphanes,
Pharsa'lia. A town of Thessaly, famous for the
great battle fought there between Julius Caesar
and Pompey, in which the former obtained
Phid ias. A celebrated sculptor of Athens, who
died B.C. 432. He executed a statue of Mi-
nerva, which was placed in the Pantheon.
Philip'pi. A town of Macedonia, celebrated for
two battles fought there, 15. c. 42, between
Augustus and Antony and the republican
forces of Brutus and Cassius, in which the
former were victorious.
Philip'pus, king of Macedonia, was son of Amyn-
tas, king ni Macedonia. He learnt the art of
war from Epaminondas. He married Olym*
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 163
pias. the daughter of Neoptolemus, king of
the Molossi, and became father of Alexan-
der the Great. Among the most important
evisnts of his reign was the battle of Chyero-
nea, which he won from the Greeks. The
character of Philip is that of a sagacious, pru-
dent, but artful and intriguing, monarch. He
was assassinated by Pausanias at the celebra-
tion of the nuptials of his daughter, in the
forty-seventh year of his age and the twenty-
fourth of his reign, about 336 years before the
Philip'pus. The last king of Macedonia of that
name was son of Demetrius. He aspired to
become the friend of Hannibal. His intrigues
were discovered by the Romans, who in-
vaded his territories, and extorted peace from
him on terms which were humiliating. He
died in the forty-second year of his reign, 179
years before the Christian era.
Phi'lo. A Jewish writer of Alexandria, a.d. 40.
His works related to the creation of the world,
sacred history, and the laws and customs of
the Jewish nation.
Philocte'tes was one of the Argonauts. He re-
ceived from Hercules the arrows which had
been dipped in the gall of the Hydra. The
Greeks, in the tenth year of the Trojan war,
were informed by the oracle that Troy could
not be taken without these arrows. Philocte-
tes repaired to the Grecian camp, where he
destroyed a number of the Trojans, among
164 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
whom was Paris, with the arrows. The ad-
ventures of Philoctetes are the subject of one
of the best tragedies of Sophocles.
Philome'la. A daughter of Pandion, king of
Athens. Her sister Procne had married
Tereus, king of Thrace, and being separated
from Philomela spent her time in great mel-
ancholy. She persuaded her husband to go
to Athens and bring her sister to Thrace.
Tereus, on the journey, treated Philomela
with great cruelty, and cut off her tongue, con-
fining her in a lonely castle, and reporting to
Procne that she was dead. Philomela, how-
ever, found means to inform Procne that she
was living. In revenge for the cruelty of
Tereus, Procne murdered his son and served
him up as food at a banquet. On hearing
this Tereus drew his sword to slay the sisters,
when he was changed into a hoopoe. Philomela
into a nightingale, and Procne into a swallow.
In poetry we frequently find the nightingale
alluded to as Philomela, as in this quatrain,
which occurs in a contribution to the "Eto-
" Hark ! upon the passing gale
Philomela''s plaintive wail !
Feelings how serene and tender
Does the lovely music render."
Philopoe'men. A celebrated general of the Achae-
ans, born at Megalopolis. At an early age
he distinguished himself in the field of battle,
at the same time appearing fond of agricul-
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 1 65
ture and a country life. He adopted Epami-
nondas as his model, and was not unsuccess-
ful in imitating the prudence and other good
qualities of the famous Theban. When Me-
galopolis was attacked by the Spartans, Phil-
opoemen, then in his thirtieth year, gave the
most decisive proofs of his valor. Raised to
the rank of commander, he showed his ability
to discharge that important trust by killing
with his own hand Mechanidas, the tyrant of
Sparta, and defeating his army. Sparta hav-
ing become, after its conquest, tributary to
the Achseans, Philopoemen enjoyed the tri-
umph of having subdued one of the most
powerful states of Greece. He was at length
made prisoner by the Messenians, and was
treated by their general, Dinocrates. with
great severity. He was poisoned in his seven
tieth year, about 1S3 years before the Chris-
Philos'tratus. A famous Sophist born at Lemnos,
or, according to some, at Athens. He came
to Rome, where he was patronized by Julia,
the wife of the Emperor Severus. She en-
trusted him with some papers referring to
Apollonius, whose life he wrote. This bio-
graphy is, written with elegance, but contains
many exaggerated descriptions and improb-
Phi'neus. A son of Agenor, king of Phoenicia,
or, according to some, a son of Xeptune, who
became king of Thrace. He married Cleopa-
1 66 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
tra (called by some Cleobula) , the daughter
of Boreas, their children being Plexippus and
Pandion. After the death of Cleopatra, he
married Idaea, the daughter of Dardanus,
who, jealous of Cleopatra's children, accused
them of an attempt on their father's life, and
they were condemned by Phineus to have their
eyes put out. This cruelty was punished by
the gods, Phineus being made blind, and the
Harpies were sent by Jupiter to keep him in
continual alarm. He recovered his sight by
means of the Argonauts, whom he received
with great hospitality.
Phleg ethon. A river in the infernal regions, be-
tween the banks of which flames of fire flowed
instead of water.
Phle'gon. One of the Emperor Adrian's f reed-
men. He wrote a historical account of Sicily,
an account of the principal places in Rome,
and treatises on different subjects. His style
was inelegant, and he evinced a want of judg-
ment in his writings.
Pho cion. An Athenian celebrated for his public
and private virtue. He was distinguished for
his zeal for the general good, and for his mili-
tary abilities. The fickleness of the Atheni-
ans, however, caused them to lose sight of his
virtues, and, being accused of treason, he was
condemned to drink poison, which he took with
the greatest heroism. His death occurred
about 3t8 years before the Christian era.
PhcE nix, son of Amyntor, king of Argos, and
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 167
Cleobule or Hippodamia, was preceptor to
Achilles. He accompanied his pupil to the
Trojan war, and Achilles was ever grateful
for the precepts he had received from him.
After the fall of Troy he died in Thrace, and,
according to Strabo, was buried near Tra-
chinia, where his name was given to a river.
Phry'ne. A beautiful woman who lived at Athens
about 328 years before the Christian era. She
was beloved by Praxiteles, who painted her
portrait. It is said that Apelles painted his
Venus Anadyomene after he had seen Phryne
on the sea-shore with dishevelled hair. There
was another woman of the same name, who
was accused of impiety. When her judges
were about to condemn her she unveiled her
bosom, and her beauty so captivated them
that they acquitted her.
Phryx us. A son of Athamas, king of Thebes,
and Nephele. On the plea of insanity, Nephele
was repudiated by Athamas, who then married
Ino, who persecuted Phryxus with inveterate
hatred, because he was to succeed to the throne
in preference to one of her own children. Be-
ing apprised that Ino had designs on his life,
he started with his sister Helle to go to yEetes,
king of Colchis. According to the poets they
mounted on a ram, whose fleece was gold,
which soared into the air, directing its course
to Colchis. Helle became giddy, and falling
into the sea (afterward called the Helles-
pont),was drowned. Phryxus arrived at the
1 68 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
court of ^etes, whose daughter Chalciope he
married. Some time afterward he was killed
by his father-in-law. The murder of Phryxus
gave rise to the famous Argonautic expedition
under Jason, the object being to recover the
Golden Fleece, wliich Jason succeeded in ob-
Phyl'lis. A daughter of Sithon, or, according to
other writers, of Lycurgus, king of Thrace.
She received Demophoon, who landed on her
coasts on his return from the Trojan war, and
fell in love with him, and he reciprocated her
affection; but afterward proving faithless,
Phyllis hanged herself, and, according to an
old tradition, was changed into an almond
Pious. King of Latium. son of Saturn, who mar-
ried Venilia. As he was hunting he was met
by Circe, who became enamored with him.
She changed him into a woodpecker.
Pier'ides. A name given to the Muses, because
they were born in Pieria, or, as some say, be-
cause they were supposed to be the daughters
of Pierus, a king of Macedonia, who settled
Pin'darus. A celebrated lyric poet of Thebes.
When he was young it is said that a swarm of
bees settled on his lips and left on them some
honey, which was regarded as a prognostic of
his future greatness. After his death great
respect was shown to his memory, and a
statue was erected in liis honor in one of the
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 169
most public places in Thebes. Pindar is said
to have died at the age of eighty-six, b.c. 435.
Of his works, the odes only are extant : they
are admired for sublimity of sentiment and
grandeur of expression.
Piraeus, A celebrated harbor at Athens about
three miles from the city. It was joined to
the town by two walls, one built by Pericles,
and the other by Themistocles.
Pirith'ous. Son of Ixion and Dia, the daughter
of Deioneus. He was king of the Lapithae,
and wished to become acquainted with The-
seus, king of Athens, of whose fame and ex-
ploits he had heard. They became cordial
friends. Pirithous married Hippodamia, and
invited the Centaurs to attend his nuptials,
where, having become intoxicated, they be-
haved with great rudeness, on which they were
attacked and overcome by Theseus, Pirithous,
Hercules, and the rest of the Lapithae. Many
of the Centaurs were slain, and the rest saved
their lives by flight.
Pisan der. A commander in the Spartan fleet
during the Peloponnesian war. He was great-
ly opposed to democracy at Athens. He was
killed in a naval battle near Cnidus, b.c. 394.
Pisis'tratus. A celebrated Athenian who distin-
guished himself by valor in the field and by
eloquence at home. He obtained a bodyguard
of fifty men to defend his person, and having
thus got a number of armed men on whom he
could rely, he seized the citadel of Athens,
170 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
and soon made himself absolute. After this
a conspiracy was formed against him, and he
was banished from the city. He soon, how-
ever, re-established himself in power, and
married the daughter of Megacles, one of his
greatest enemies, whom he afterward repu-
diated. On this his popularity waned, and
he fled from Athens, but after an absence of
eleven years he returned, and was received by
the people with acclamation. He died about
527 years before the Christian era.
Pi'so. A celebrated family at Rome, eleven of
whom had obtained the consulship, and some
of whom had had been honored with triumphs
for their victories. Of this family the most
famous were — Lucius Calpurnius, who was
tribune of the people about 149 years before
Christ, and afterward consul. He gained
honor as an orator, a statesman, and a his-
torian. Caius, another of the family, distin-
guished himself during his consulship by his
firmness in resisting the tumults raised by the
tribunes and the clamors of the people. Cneus,
who was consul under Augustus, rendered
himself odious by his cruelty. He was ac-
cused of poisoning Germanicus, and, being
shunned by his friends, destroyed himself.
Lucius, a governor of Spain, who was assas-
sinated by a peasant. Lucius, a governor of
Rome for twenty years, during which time he
discharged his duties with moderation and
justice. Caius, who was at the head of a con
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 171
spiracy against Nero. He committed suicide
Pit'tacus, a native of Mitylene in Lesbos, was one
of the seven wise men of Greece. He died in
the eighty-second year of his age. about 570
years before Christ, the latter part of his life
being spent in retirement. Many of his
maxims were inscribed on the walls of Apollo's
temple at Delphi, to show how high an opinion
his countrymen entertained of his abilities as
a moralist and philosopher.
Plancus, L. Muna tius. A Roman conspicuous
for his follies and extravagance. He had
been consul, and had presided over a pro-
vince, but he forgot his dignity, and became
one of the most servile flatterers of Antony
Platae a. A town of Boeotia, near Mount Citheron,
celebrated as the scene of a battle between
Mardonius, the general of Xerxes, king of
Persia, and Pausanias, who commanded the
Athenians. The Persians were defeated with
Plato. A celebrated philosopher of Athens. He
was educated carefully, his mind being culti-
vated by the stud}' of poetry and geometry,
while his body was invigorated by the prac-
tice of gymnastics. He began his literary
career by writing poetry and tragedies. At
the age of twenty he was introduced to Socra-
tes, with whom he was for some time a pupil.
After traveling in various countries, he re-
tired to the neighborhood of Athens, where
his lectures were attended by a crowd of
learned, noble, and illustrious pupils. He
died on his birthday in the eighty-first year of
his age, about 348 years before the Christian
era. His writings were so celebrated, and his
opinions so highly regarded, that he was called
Plau'tus, M. Ac'cius. A dramatic poet born in
Umbria. He wrote twenty-five comedies, of
which only nineteen are extant. He died
about 184 years before the Christian era.
Plei'ades. A name given to seven daughters of
Atlas and Pleione. They were placed after
death in the heavens, and formed a constella-
Plin'ius, C. Sccun dus, called the Elder, was born
at Verona, of a noble family. He distin-
guished himself in the field, and was ap-
pi inted governor of Spain. When at Mise-
num in command of the Roman fleet, Pliny
observed the appearance of a cloud of dust
and ashes, which was the commencement of
the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius which
overwhelmed Herculaneum and Pompeii. He
sailed for the scene of the eruption, where he
was suffocated by the vapors emitted. This
occurred in tlie seventy-ninth year of the
Plin ius, C. Caecilius Secun dus, surnamed the
Younger Pliny, was son of L. Caecilius by the
sister of Pliny the Elder. At the age of nine-
CLASSIC AT, DICTIONARY I 73
teen he distinguished himself at the bar.
When Trajan was invested with the purple,
Pliny was created consul. He died in the
fifty-second year of his age, a.d. 113. Pliny
had much to do with the persecutions of the
Christians in the early promulgation of the
Christian religion. The Rev. James Copland,
M.A., in an admirable little work entitled
"Reasons why we Believe the Bible," gives a
very interesting letter from Pliny to the em-
peror Trajan, asking instructions how to deal
with the Christians when they were cited to
appear before him.
Plutar'chus, the celebrated biographer, was born
at Chseronea, his father being distinguished
for his learning and virtues. After traveling
in quest of knowledge, he retired to Rome,
where he opened a school. Subsequently he
removed to Chseronea, were he died at an ad-
vanced age about the 140th year of the Chris-
tian era. His most esteemed work is the
"Lives of Illustrious Men."
Plu'to, son of Saturn and 0*ps, inherited his
father's kingdom with his brothers, Jupiter
and Neptune. He received as his portion the
kingdom of the infernal regions, of death,
and funerals. He seized Proserpine as she
was gathering flowers, and carrying her away
on his chariot, she became his wife and queen
of the infernal regions.
Plu'tus, the god of riches, was the son of Jason,
or Jasius, and Ceres.
174 CLASSICAL DlCTIONARi'
Pol'lio, C. Asin ius. A Roman consul in the
reign of Augustus, who distinguished him-
self equally by his eloquence and exploits in
war. He wrote a history and some tragedies,
and died in his eightieth year, a.d. 4.
Pollux. A son of Jupiter and Leda, brother to
Polyb ius. A native of Megalopolis. He distin-
guished himself by his valor against the
Romans in Macedonia. He wrote a univer-
sal history in Greek, and died about 124 years
Polydec'tes. A son of Magnes, king of Se'riphos.
He received with kindness Danae and her son
Perseus, who had been exposed on the sea.
Polydectes was turned into stone by being
shown Medusa's head by Perseus.
Polyhymnia. One of the Muses, daughter of
Jupiter and Mnemosyne. She presided over
singing and rhetoric.
Polyni'ces. A sou of CEdipus, king of Thebes,
and Jocasta. He inherited his father's throne
with his brother Eteocles, and it was agreed
that they should reign a year alternately.
Eteocles first ascended the throne, but re-
fused to resign the crown. Polynices upon
this fled to Argos, where he married Argia,
the daughter of Adrastus, the king of the
country, and levied an army with which he
marched on Thebes. The battle was decided
by a combat between the brothers, who killed
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I 75
Polyphe mus. A celebrated Cyclops, son of
Neptune and Thoosa, the daughter of Phorcys.
He is represented as a monster with one eye
in the middle of his forehead. Ulysses was
his captive, but escaped by putting a fire-
brand in the monster':: eye.
Pomona. A nymph at Rome, who was supposed
to preside over gardens and to be the goddess
of fruit trees.
Pompeii or Pompei um. A town of Campania,
It was partly destroyed by an earthquake
A.D. 63, and sixteen years afterward it was
overwhelmed by ashes and lava from an
eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Herculaneum,
in its vicinity, shared the same fate.
Pompe ius, Cnei us, surnamed ISlagnus from his
exploits, was son of Pompeius Strabo and
Lucilia. In the contentions which existed
between INIarius and Sjdla Pompey linked
himself with the latter. Subsequently he
united his interest with that of Caesar and
Crassus, thus forming the first triumvirate.
A breach soon occurred, and at the great bat-
tle of Pharsalia. where the forces of Caesar
and Pompey met, the latter was totally de-
feated, and fled to Eg3'pt. where he was as-
sassinated in the fifty-eighth year of his age,
B.C. 48. He left two sons, Cneius and Sextus,
who at their father's death were masters of a
powerful army with which they opposed
Caesar, but were defeated at the battle of
Munda, where Cneius was slain. Sextus es-
176 CLASSICAL DICTIOXARV
caped, and was put to death by Antony about
thirty-five years before the Christian era.
Por'cia. A daughter of Cato of Utica, who mar-
ried Bibulus, and after his death Brutus.
She was distinguished for her prudence and
courage. After her husband's death she
killed herself by swallowing burning coals.
She is said to have given herself a severe
wound to show that she could bear pain.
Shakespeare alludes to this (Julius Caesar,
act ii. , scene i) , where he makes her exclaim,
to show her heroism,
" I have made strong- proof of my constancy.
Giving myself a voluntary wound
Here, in the thigh."
Porphyr'ius. A Platonic philosopher of Tyre.
He studied eloquence at Athens under Lon-
ginus, and afterward retired to Rome. His
most celebrated work was in reference to the
Christian religion. Porphyry died a.d. 304,
aged seventy-one years.
Porsen na or Per sena. A king of Etruria, who
declared war against the Romans because they
refused to restore Tarquin to the throne. He
was prevented from entering the gates of
Rome by the valor of P. Horatius Codes,
who at the head of a bridge kept back Por-
senna's army, while the bridge was being cut
down by the Romans to prevent the entry of
their enemies into the city. Eventually Por-
senna abandoned the cause of Tarquin. Lord
Macaulay, in his fine poem " Horatius," repre-
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I 77
sents two other heroes, "Spurins Lartius" and
"Herminius," as keeping the bridge on either
hand of Horatius Codes.
Praxit'elec. A famous sculptor of Greece, who
lived about 324 years before the Christian
era. The most famous of his works was a
Cupid, which he gave to Phryne. He exe-
cuted a statue of Phryne, and also one of
Pri'amus. The last king of Troy, was son of
Laomedon, by Strymo, called. Placia by some
writers. He married Arisba, whom he di-
vorced in order to marry Hecuba, by whom
he had a number of children, the most cele-
brated of whom were Hector, Paris, Dei-
phobus, Helenus, Laodice, and Cassandra.
After he had reigned some tim.e, Priam was
anxious to recover his sister Hesione, who
had been carried into Greece by Hercules, and
to achieve this, he manned a fleet, the com-
mand of which he gave to his son Paris, who,
instead of obeying the paternal instructions,
carried away Helen, the wife of Menelaus,
king of Sparta. This caused the Trojan war,
which lasted for ten years. At the end of the
war Priam was slain by Neoptolemus, the son
Pro'bus, M. Aure lius. A native of Pannonia.
His father was a gardener, who became a
military tribune. His son obtained the same
office on the twenty-second year of his age,
and distinguished himself so much by hispro-
178 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
bity and valor that he was invested with the
imperial purple. He encouraged the arts,
and by his victories added to the glory of his
country. He was slain by his soldiers in the
fiftieth year of his age, B.C. 282.
Proco'pius, born of a noble family in Cilicia, was
related to the emperor Julian. He signalized
himself under Julian, and afterward retired
to the Thracian Chersonesus, whence he made
his appearance at Constantinople, and pro-
claimed himself master of the Eastern Em-
pire. He was defeated in Phrygia, and be-
headed A. D. 366. There was a famous Greek
historian of the same name, who wrote the
history of the reign of Justinian, and who was
secretary to Belisarius.
Prometheus. Ason of lapctusand Clymene. one
of the Oceanides. He ridiculed the gods and
deceived Jupiter himself, who, to punish him
and the rest of mankind, took fire away from
the earth ; but Prometheus climbed the heav-
ens by the assistance of Minerva, and stole
fire from the chariot of the sun, which he
brought down to the earth. This provoked
Jupiter, and he ordered Prometheus to be
chained to a rock, where a vulture was to feed
on his liver, which was never exhausted. He
was delivered from his torture by Hercules,
who killed the vulture.
Proper'tius, Sex tus Aure lius. A Latin poet
born in Umbria. He came to Rome, where
his genius greatly reconmiended him to the
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I 79
great and powerful. His works, consist of
four books of elegies which are marked by
much al)ility. He died about nineteen years
Proser pina, a daughter of Ceres and Jupiter,
called by the Greeks Persephone. As she
was gathering flowers Pluto carried her off to
the infernal regions, where he married her.
Ceres, having learnt that her daughter had
been carried away by Pluto, demanded of
Jupiter that Pluto should be punished. As
queen of hell, Proserpine presided over the
death of mankind. She was known by the
names of Hecate, Juno Inferna, Libitina, and
Protag oras. A Greek philosopher of Abdera in
Thrace. He wrote a book in which he denied
the existence of a Supreme Being, which book
was publicly burnt at Athens, and its author
was banished from the city.
Pro'tesila'us. A king of part of Thessaly who
married Laodamia, and shortly afterward
went to the Trojan war. He was the first of
the Greeks who entered the Trojan domain,
and on that account, in accordance with the
prediction of the oracle, was killed by his
Pro'teus. A sea deity, son of Oceanus and
Tethys, or, according to some writers, of
Neptune and Phenice. He had received the
gift of prophecy from Neptune, but when
consulted he often refused to give answers,
l8o CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
and puzzled those who consulted him by as-
suming different shapes.
Psy'che. A nymph who married Cupid. Venus
put her to death because of this, but Jupiter,
at the request of Cupid, granted immortality
Ptolemae'us First, called Ptolemy, surnamed
Lagus. A king of Egypt, son of Arsinoe and
Lagus. He was educated in the court of the
king of Macedonia, and when Alexander in-
vaded Asia Ptolemy attended him. After
Alexander's death Ptolemy obtained the gov-
ernment of Egypt, where he gained the esteem
of the people by acts of kindness. He made
himself master of Phoenicia and Syria, and
rendered assistance to the people of Rhodes
against their enemies, for which he received
the name of Soter. He laid the foundation of
a library, which became the most celebrated
in the world. He died in his eighty-fourth
year, about 284 years b.c. He was succeeded
by his son Ptolemy Philadelphus, who showed
himself to be a w^orthy successor of his father.
His palace was an asylum for learned men,
and he greatly increased the library his father
had founded. Ptolemy Third succeeded his
father Philadelphus on the Egyptian throne.
He conquered Syria and Cilicia, and returned
home laden with spoils. He was, like his
predecessors, a patron of learning and the
arts. Ptolemy Fourth, called Philopater,
succeeded to the throne, his reign being
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 151
marked by acts of cruelty and oppression.
He died in his thirty-seventh year, after a
reign of seventeen years, 204 b.c. Numerous
members of this celebrated family in succes-
sion occupied the throne, not, however, ap-
proaching to the greatness of the founders of
Ptolemae us. A celebrated geographer and astron-
omer in the reign of Adrian and Antoninus.
He was a native of Alexandria, or, as some
say, of Pelusium. In his system of the world,
designated the Ptolemaic system, he places
the earth in the centre of the universe, which
" was generally received as correct till it was
confuted by Copernicus.
Public'ola. A surname, signifying a friend of the
common people, acquired by Publius Valerius.
He assisted Brutus to expel the Tarquins, and
won the victory in the battle in which Brutus
and the sons of Tarquin had fallen. He was
four times Consul, but died in poverty, and
was buried at the public expense amidst gen-
Pyr'rhus. A famous king of Epirus, son of
^acides and Phthia. He wrote several books
on encampments and the ways of training an
army. He fought against the Romans with
much valor, and they passed encomiums on
his great military skill. He was killed in an
attack on Argos, by a tile thrown on his head
from a housetop.
Pyr rhus. See Neoptolemus.
l82 cr,ASSICAL DICTIONARY
Pythag oras. A celebrated philosopher born at
Samos. He first made himself known in
Greece at the Olympic games, where, when
he was eighteen years old, he obtained the
prize for wrestling. He also distinguished
himself by his discoveries in geometry, as-
tronomy, and mathematics. He was the first
who supported the doctrine of metempsycho-
sis, or transmigration of the soul into different
bodies. He believed that the universe was
created from a shapeless mass of passive mat-
ter by the hands of a powerful Being, who was
the mover and soul of the world, and of whose
substance the souls of mankind were a portion.
The time and place of death of this great phil-
osopher are unknown, but some suppose that
he died at Metapontum about 497 years b.v.
Py then. A celebrated serpent sprung from the
mud and stagnated waters which remained on
the surface of the earth after the deluge of
Deucalion. Apollo killed the monster.
Quintilia'nus, Marcus Fa'bius, a celebrated
rhetorician, born in Spain. He opened a
school of rhetoric at Rome, and was the first
who obtained a salary from the State as a
public teacher. He died a.d. 95.
Quin'tus Cur tius Ru'fus. A Latin historian sup-
posed to have lived in the reign of Ve.spasian.
He wrote a history of the reign of Alexander
the Great. This woik is admired for the
elegance of us diction.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I 83
Regil'lus. A small lake in Latium, famous as
being the scene of a great Roman victory,
which forms the subject of a fine poem by
Lord Macaulay, called "The Battle of the
Lake Regillus," included in his "Lays of An-
Reg ulus, M. Attil ius. A consul during the first
Punic war. He reduced Brundusium, and in
his second consulship he captured a great por-
tion of the Carthaginian fleet. After further
successes he was taken prisoner by the Cartha-
ginians, who put him to death with refined
Rhadaman thus. A son of Jupiter and Europa,
He reigned in the Cyclades, where his rule
was characterized by marked justice and im-
Romulus. According t>) tradition the founder of
Rome. He was a son of Mars and Ilia, and
was twin brother of Remus. The twins were
thrown into the Tiber, but were saved and
suckled by a she- wolf till they were found by
Faustulus, a shepherd, who brought them up.
Disputes arising between the brothers in refer-
ence to the building of the city, Romulus
caused Remus to he slain.
Ros'cius. A celebrated Roman actor. He died
about 60 years h.c.
Ru bicon. A small river in Italy. By crossing
it, and thus transgressing the boundaries of
his province, Cspsar declared wai' against the
senate and P<jmpey. "Passing the Rubicon"
184 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
has become a proverbial expression, indicat-
ing an irrevocable step taken in any weighty
Sacra, Vi'a. An important street in Rome,
where a treaty of peace was made between
Romulus and Tatius.
Sal'amis. An island of Attica celebrated for a
battle fought there between the fleets of the
Greeks and the Persians, in which the latter
Sallus'tius, Cris'pus. A celebrated Latin his-
torian. He wrote a history of the Catilinian
conspiracy, and died thirty-five years before
the Christian era.
Sanchoni'athon. A Phoenician historian born at
Berytus, or, as some say, at Tyre. He lived
a few years before the Trojan war, and wrote
on the antiquities of Phoenicia.
Sa'por. A king of Persia, who succeeded to the
throne about the 238th year of the Christian
era. He wished to increase his dominions by
conquest, but was defeated by Odenatus, who
defeated his army with great slaughter. He
was assassinated a.d. 273.
Sa'por. The second king of Persia of that name,
lie fought against the Romans, and obtained
several victories over them. Died a.d. 380.
Sap pho, celebrated for her beauty and poetical
talents, was l)orn at Lesbos about 600 years
before Christ She became enamored with
Phaon, a youth of Mitylene; but he not re-
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 185
ciprocatingher passion, she threw herself into
the sea from the rock of Leucadia. Moore
alludes to her fatal leap in his " Evenings in
" The very spot where Sappho sung
Her swan-like music, ere she sprung
(Still holding in that fearful leap,
By her loved lyre) into the deep,
And, dying, quenched the fatal fire
At once, of both her heart and lyre."
Sardanapa'lus. The last king of Assyria, cele-
brated for his luxury and indolence. His
effeminacy induced his subjects to conspire
against him with success, on which he set fire
to his palace and perished in the flames, B.C.
820. Lord Byron has made his history the
subject of a tragedy, in which he introduces
as the heroine Myrrha, a Greek slave, who
sets fire to a pile of inflammable materials
which had been raised, and perishes with
Sardanapalus, exclaiming as she applies the
I've lit the lamp which lights us to the stars.'"
The play of "Sardanapalus" is still occasion-
ally produced on the stage.
Satur'nus. The son of Coelus, or Uranus, by
Terra. It was customary to offer human vic-
tims on his altars till this custom was abol-
ished by Hercules. He is generally repre-
sented as an old man bent with age, and hold-
ing a scythe in his right hand.
1 86 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Sat'yri. Demigods whose origin is unknown.
They had the feet and legs of a goat, their
body bearing the human form.
Scae'vola, Mu'tius, surnamed Cordus, was famous
for his courage. He attempted to assassinate
Porsenna, but was seized ; and to show his
fortitude when confronted with Porsenna, he
thrust his hand into the fire, on which the
king pardoned him.
Scip'io. The name of a celebrated family at
Rome, the most conspicuous of which was
Publius Cornelius, afterward called Afri-
canus. He was the son of Publius Scipio and
commanded an army against the Carthagini-
ans. After obtaining some victories, he en-
countered Hannibal at the famous battle of
Zama, in which he obtained a decisive vic-
tory. He died about 184 years before Christ,
in his forty eighth year.
Scip'io, Lucius Cornelius, surnamed Asiaticus,
accompanied his brother Africanus in his ex-
pedition in Africa. He was made consul
A.u.c. 562, and sent to attack Antiochus, king
of Syria, whom he completely routed. He
was accused <;f receiving bril)es of Antiochus.
and was condemned to pay large fines which
reduced him to poverty.
Scip io, P. iEmilia'nus. Called Africanus the
younger. He finished the war with Carthage,
the total submission of which occurred a. v.
147. The captive city was set on fiie, and
Scipio is said to have wept bitterly over the
CI-ASSTCAL DICTIONARY 187
melancholy scene. On his return to Rome he
was appointed to conclude the war against
Numantia, the fall of which soon occurred,
and Scipio had Numantinus added to his
name. He was found dead in his bed and
was presumed to have been strangled, b.c.
Sem ele. A daughter of Cadmus, and Hermione,
the daughter of Mars and Venus. She was the
mother of Bacchus. After death she was
made immortal under the name of Thyone.
Semir amis. A celebrated queen of Assyria,
who married the governor of Nineveh, and at
his death she became the wife of king Xinus.
She caused many improvements to be effected
in her kingdom, as well as distinguishing her-
self as a warrior. She is supposed to have
lived 1965 years before the Christian era.
Sen'eca, L. Anrice'us, at an early period of his life,
was distinguished by his talents. He became
preceptor to Nero, in which capacity he gained
general approbation. The tyrant, however,
determined to put him to death, and he chose
to have his veins opened in a hot bath, but
death not ensuing, he swallowed poison, and
was eventually suffocated by the soldiers who
were in attendance. This occurred in his fifty-
third year, and in the sixty-fifth of the Chris-
tian era. His works, which were numerous,
were chiefly on moral subjects.
Sera pis. One of the Egyptian deities, supposed
to be the same as Osiris. He had a mag-
l88 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
nificent temple at Memphis, another at Alex-
andria, and a third at Canopus.
Sesos tris. A celebrated king of Egypt, who
lived long prior to the Trojan war. He was
ambitious of military fame, and achieved
many conquests. On his return from his vic-
tories he employed himself in encouraging the
fine arts. He destroyed himself after a reign
of forty-four years.
Seve rus, Lucius Septim'ius. A Roman emperor,
born in Africa, noticeable from his ambition.
He invaded Britain, and built a wall in the
north as a check to the incursions of the Cale-
donians. He died at York in the 211th year
of the Christian era.
Sile nus. A demigod, who is represented gener-
ally as a fat old man riding on an ass, with
flowers crowning his head.
Sil'ius Ital'icus, C. A Latin poet who retired
from the bar to consecrate his time to study.
He imitated Virgil, but with little success. His
poetry, however, is commended for its purity.
Simon'ides. A celebrated poet of Cos who lived
538 H. c. He wrote elegies, epigrams, and
dramatic pieces, esteemed for their beauty.
Sirenes. The Sirens. They lured to destruction
those who listened to their songs. When
Ulysses sailed past their island he stopped the
ears of his companions with wax, and had
himself tied to the mast of liis ship. Thus he
passed with safety, and the Sirens, disap-
pointed of their prey, drowned themselves.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 189
Sisyphus. Son of ^oius and Enaretta. After
death he was condemned, in the infernal re-
gions, to roll a stone to the summit of a hill,
which always rolled back, and rendered his
Soc'rates. The most celebrated philosopher of
antiquity, born near Athens, whose virtues
rendered his name venerated. His indepen-
dence of spirit created for him many enemies,
and he was accused of making innovations in
the religion of the Greeks. He was con-
demned to death by drinking hemlock, and
expired a few moments after imbibing the
poison, in his seventieth year, b.c. 400. His
wife was Xanthippe, remarkable for her
shrewish disposition, for which her name has
So'lon, one of the wise men of Greece, was born
at Salamis and educated at Athens. After
traveling over Greece he returned, and was
elected archon and sovereign legislator, in
which capacity he effected numerous reforms
in the state, binding the Athenians by a solemn
oath to observe the laws he enacted for one
hundred years. After this he visited Egypt,
and on returning to Athens after ten years'
absence, he found most of his regulations dis-
regarded by his countrymen. On this he re-
tired to Cyprus, where he died in his eightieth
year, 558 years before the Christian era.
Som'nus, son of Nox and Erebus, was one of the
infernal deities, and presided over sleep.
190 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Soph ocles. A celebrated tragic poet of Athens.
He was distinguished also as a statesman,
and exercised the office of archon with credit
and honor. He wrote for the stage, and ob-
tained the poetical prize on twenty different
occasions. He was the rival of Euripides for
public applause, each having his admirers.
He died at the age of ninety-one, 406 years
Sophonis ba. A daughter of Hasdrubal, the
Carthaginian, celebrated for her beauty. She
married Syphax, prince of Numidia, and when
he was conquered by the Romans she became
a captive to their ally, the Numidian general
Masinissa, whom she married. This dis-
pleased the Romans, and Scipio ordered
Masinissa to separate from Sophonisba, and
she, urged to this by Masinissa, took poison,
about 203 years before Christ.
Soz'omen. A historian who died 450 a.d. He
wrote an important work on ecclestiastical
Sphinx. A monster, having the head and breasts
of a woman, the body of a dog, the tail of a
serpent, the wings of a bird, and the paws of
a lion. The Sphinx was sent into the neigh-
borhood of Thebes by Juno, where she pro-
pounded enigmas, devouring those who were
unable to solve them. One of the riddles pro-
posed was— What animal walked on four legs
in the morning, two at noon, and three in the
evening? CEdipus solved it, giving as the
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY IQT
meaning— x\ man. who when an infant crav.-led
on his hands and feet, walking erect in man
hood, and in the evening of life supporting
himself with a stick. On hearing the solntion
the Sphinx destroyed herself.
Stagi ra, A town on the borders of Macedonia,
where Aristotle was born ; hence he is called
Sta'tius, P. Papin ius. A poet, born at Naples
in the reign of Domitian. He was the author
of two epic poems, the Thebais in twelve
books, and the Achilleis in two books.
Stsii'tor. One of the Greeks who went to the
Trojan war. He was noted for the loudness
of his voice, and from him the term "sten-
torian" has become proverbial.
Sto'ici. A celebrated sect of philosophers founded
by Zeno. They preferred virtue to all other
things, and regarded everything opposed to it
as an evil.
Stra bo. A celebrated geographer, born at
Amasia, on the borders of Cappadocia. He
flourished in the age of Augustus. His work
on geography consists of seventeen books, and
is admired for its purity of diction.
Styx. A celebrated river of the infernal regions:
The gods held it in such veneration that they
always swore by it, the oath being inviolable.
Suetonius, C. Tranquillus. A Latin historian
who became secretary to Adrian. His best
known work is his "Lives of the Caesars."
Sulla, See Sylla.
192 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Sybaris. A town on the ba}- of Tarentum. Its
inhabitants were distinguished by their love
of ease and pleasure, hence the term "Sybar-
Syl'la (or Sulla) , L. Corne lius. A celebrated
Roman, of a noble family, who rendered him-
self conspicuous in military affairs, and be-
came antagonistic to Marius. In the zenith of
his power he was guilty of the greatest cruelty.
Ilis character is that of an ambitious, tyran-
nical, and resolute commander. He died
about seventy years before Christ, aged sixty,
Sy'phax. A king of the Masa^syllii in Numidia,
who married Sophonisba, the daughter of
Hasdrubal. He joined the Carthaginians
against the Romans, and was taken by Scipio
as a prisoner to Rome, where he died in prison.
Tac'itus, C. Cornelius. A celebrated Latin his-
torian, born in the reign of Nero. Of all his
works the "Annals" is the most extensive and
complete. His style is marked by force, pre-
cision, and dignity, and his Latin is remark-
able for being pure and classical.
Tac'itus, M. Claudius. A Roman, elected em-
peror by the Senate when he was seventy years
of age. He displayed military vigor, and as
a ruler was a pattern of economy and modera
tion. He died in the 276th year of the Chris-
Tantalus. A king of Lydia. father of Niobe and
Pelops. He is represented by the poets as be-
ct,assu:al dicttoxarv T93
ing. in the infernal regions, placed in a pool
of water, which receded from him whenever he
attempted to drink, thus causing him to suffer
perpetual thirst ; hence the origin of the term
Tarquin'ius Pris cus, the fifth king of Rome, was
son of Demaratus a native of Greece. He
exhibited military talents in the victories he
gained over the Sabines. During peace he
devoted attention to the improvement of the
capital. He was assassinated in his eightieth
year, 578 years b.c.
Tarquin'ius Super bus. He ascended the throne
of Rome after Servius Tullius, whom, he mur-
dered, and married his daughter Tullia. His
reign was characterized by tyranny, and
eventually he was expelled from Rome ; sur-
viving his disgrace for fourteen years, and
dying in his ninetieth year.
Tartarus. One of the regions of hell, where, ac-
cording to Virgil, the souls of those who were
exceptionally depraved were punished.
Telem'achus. Son of Penelope and Ulysses. At
the end of the Trojan war he went in search
of his father, whom, with the aid of Minerva,
he found. Aided by Ulysses he delivered his
mother from the suitors that beset her.
Tem'pe. A valley in Thessaly through which th^
river Peneus flews into the ^gean. It is de-
scribed by the poets as one of the most de-
lightful places in the world.
Terentius, Pub'lius (Terence), A native of
194 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Africa, celebrated for the comedies he wrote.
He was twenty-five years old when his first
play was produced on the Roman stage. Ter-
ence is admired for the purity of his language
and the elegance of his diction. He is sup-
posed to have been drowned in a storm about
Te'reus. A king of Thrace who married Procne,
daughter of Pandion, king of Athens. He
aided Pandion in a war against Megara.
Terpsichore. One of the Muses, daughter of
Jupiter and Mnemosyne. She presided over
TertuUia'nus, J. Septim ius Flor'ens. A cele-
brated Christian writer of Carthage who lived
A.D. 196. He was originally a pagan, but em-
braced Christianity, of which faith he became
an able advocate.
Tha'is. A celebrated woman of Athens, who ac-
companied Alexander the Great in his Asiatic
conquests. She is alluded to by Dryden in
his famous ode, "Alexander's Feast :"
" The lovely Thais by his side
Sate like a blooming Eastern bride
In flower of youth and beauty's pride."
Tha'les. One of the seven wise men of Greece,
l)orn at Miletus in Ionia. His discoveries in
astronomy were great, and he was the first who
calculated with accuracy a solar eclipse. He
died about 548 years before the Christian era.
Thali'a. One of the Muses. She presided over
festivals and comic poetry.
CLASSICAL DICTTONARV 1 95
Themis tocles. A celebrated general born at
Athens. When Xerxes invaded Greece,
Themistocles was entrusted with the care of
the fleet, and at the famous battle of Salamis,
fought B.C. 4S0, the Greeks, instigated to fight
by Themistocles, obtained a complete victory
over the formidable navy of Xerxes. He died
in the sixty-fifth year of his age, having, as
some writers affirm , poisoned himself by drink-
ing bull's blood.
Theoc'ritus. A Greek poet who lived at Syracuse
in Sicily 282 b.c. He distinguished himself
by his poetical compositions, of which some
Theodo sius, Fla'vius. A Roman emperor sur-
naraed Magnus from the greatness of his
exploits. The first years of his reign were
marked by conquests over the Barbarians.
In his private character Theodosius was an
example of temperance. He died in his six-
tieth year, a.d. 395, after a reign of sixteen
Theodosius Second became emperor of the West-
ern Roman empire at an early age. His ter-
ritories were invaded by the Persians, but on
his appearance at the head of a large force
they fled, losing a great number of their army
in t"he Euphrates. Theodosius was a warm
advocate of the Christian religion. He died
aged forty-nine, a.d. 450.
Theophras'tus. A native of Lesbos. Diogenes
enumerates the titles of more than 200 treat-
196 CLASSICAL mCTIOXARV
ises which he wrote. He died in his 107th
year, b.c. 288.
Thermopylae. A narrow pass leading from
Thessaly into Locris and Phocis, celebrated
for a battle fought there, b.c. 480, between
Xerxes and the Greeks, in which three hun-
dred Spartans, commanded by Leonidas, re-
sisted for three successive days an enormous
Persian arm^^ Lord Byron (" Childe Harold, "
canto ii.), in an apostrophe to Greece, thus
refers to the famous conflict :
"Who now shall lead thy scatter'd children forth,
And long-accustom'd bondage uncreate?
Not such thy sons who whilome did await,
The hopeless warriors of a willing doom,
In bleak Thermopylae's sepulchi'al strait.
Oil ! who that gallant spirit shall resume,
Leap from Eurotas' banks, and call thee from the tomb ?"
Thersi tes. A deformed Greek, in the Trojan
war, who indulged in ridicule against Ulysses
and others. Achilles killed him because he
laughed at his grief for the death of Penthe-
silea. Shakespeare, who introduces Thersites
in his play of "Troilus and Cressida," de-
scribes him as "a deformed and scurrilous
Theseus, king of Athens and son of -^geus by
^thra, was one of the most celebrated heroes
of antiquity. He caught the bull of Marathon
and sacrificed it to Minerva, After this he
went to Crete amongst the seven youths sent
yearly by the Athenians to be devoured by the
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I 97
Minotaur, and by the aid of Ariadne he slew
the monster. He ascended his father's throne
15. c. 1235. Pirithous, king of the Lapithas, in-
vaded his territories, but the two became firm
friends. They descended into the infernal re-
gions to carry off Proserpine, but their inten-
tions were frustrated by Pluto. After re-
maining for some time in the infernal regions,
Theseus returned to his kingdom to find the
throne filled by an usurper, whom he vainly
tried to eject. He retired to Scyros, where he
was killed by a fall from a precipice.
Thes'pis. A Greek poet of Attica, supposed to
be the inventor of tragedy, b.c. 536. He went
from place to place upon a cart, on which he
gave performances. Hence the term "Thes-
pians," as applied to wandering actors.
The lis. A sea deity, daughter of Nereus and
Doris. She married Peleus, their son being-
Achilles, whom she plunged into the Styx,
thus rendering him invulnerable in every part
of his body except the heel by which she held
This'be. A beautiful girl of Babylon, beloved by
Thrasybu lus. A famous general of Athens, who,
with the help of a few associates, expelled the
Thirty Tyrants, b.c. 401 - He was sent with a
powerful fleet to recover the Athenian power
on the coast of Asia, and after gaining many
advantages was killed by the people of A'=.-
198 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Thucyd ides. A celebrated Greek historian born
at Athens. He wrote a history of the events
connected with the Peloponnesian war. He
died at Athens in his eightieth year, b.c. 391.
Tibe rius, Clau dius Ne ro. A Roman emperor
descended from the Claudii. In his early
years he entertained the people with magnifi-
cent shows and gladiatorial exhibitions, which
made him popular. At a later period of his
life he retired to the island of Capreas, where
he indulged in vice and debauchery. He died-
aged seventy-eight, after a reign of twenty-
Tibullus, Au'lus Al bias. A Roman knight cele
brated for his poetical compositions. His
favorite occupation was writing love-poems.
Four books of elegies are all that remain of his
Time leon. A celebrated Corinthian, son of
Timodemus and Demariste. When the Syra-
cusans, oppressed with the tyranny of Diony-
sius the Younger, solicited aid from the Cor-
inthians, Timoleon sailed for Syracuse with a
small fleet. He was successful in the ex-
pedition, and Dionysius gave himself up as a
prisoner, Timoleon died at Syracuse, amidst
Ti'mon. A native of Athens, called the Misan-
thrope from his aversion to mankind. Ho is
the hero of Shakespeare's play of "Timon of
Athens," in wliich his churlish character is
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY I9Q
Timo theus. A famous musician in the time of
Alexander the Great. Dryden names him in
his well-known ode," Alexander's Feast:"
" Timotheus, placed on high
Amid the Uineful quire,
With flying fingjrs touched the lyre;
The trembling notes ascend the sky,
And heavenly ;oys inspire."
Tire'sias. A celebrated prophet of Thebes. Juno
deprived him of sight, and, to recompense
him for the loss, Jr.piter bestowed on him the
gift of prophecy.
Tisiphone. One of the Furies, daughter of Xox
Tita nes. The Titans. A name given to the
gigantic sons A Coelus and Terra. The most
conspicuous of them are Saturn, Hyperion,
Oceanus, lapetus, Cottus, and Briareus.
Titus Vespasia'nus. Son of Vespasian and
Flavia Domitilla, known by his valor, par-
ticularly at the siege of Jerusalem. He had
been distinguished for profligacy, but on as-
suming the purple, he became a model of
virtue. His death, which occasioned great
lamentations, occurred a. d. 81, in the forty-
first year of his age.
Traja'nus, M. Ul pius Crini tus. A Roman em-
peror born at Ithaca. His services to the em-
pire recommended him to the notice of the
emperor Nerva, who adopted him as his son,
and invested him with the purple. The ac-
tions of Trajan were those of a benevolent
200 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
prince. He died in Cilicia, in August a.d.
117, in his sixty-fourth year, and his ashes
were taken to Rome and deposited under a
stately column which he had erected.
Tribu ni Pie bis. Magistrates at Rome created in
the year u.c. 261 The office of Tribune to
the people was o..e of the first steps which
led to more honorable employments.
Triptolemus. Son of Oceanus and Terra, or, ac-
cording to some authorities, son of Celeus,
king of Attica, and Neaera. He was in his
youth cured of a severe illness by Ceres, with
whom he became a great favorite. She
taught him agriculture, and gave him her
chariot drawn by dragons, in which he trav-
eled over the earth, distributing corn to the
Tri ton. A sea deity, son of Neptune and Am-
phitrite. He was very powerful, and could
calm the sea and abate storms at his pleasure.
Triumviri. Three magistrates appointed to gov-
ern the Roman state with absolute power.
Tul'lus Hostil ius succeeded Numa as king of
Rome. He was of a warlike disposition, and
distinguished himself by his expedition
against the people of Alba, whom he con-
TyphcEus, or Ty phon. A famous giant, son of
Tartarus and Terra, who had a hundred
heads. He made war against the gods, and
was put to Might by the thunderbolts of Jupiter,
■\vho crushed him under Mount ^tna.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 20I
Tyrtae'us. A Greek elegiac poet born in Attica.
Of his compositions none are extant except a
Ulys ses. The famous king of Ithaca, son of An-
ticlea and Laertes (or, ajcording tc some, of
Sisyphus) . He married Penelope, daughter
of Icarius, on which his father resigned to
him the crown. He went to the Trojan war,
where he was esteemed f c r his sagacity. On
the conclusion of the wr.r he embarked for
Greece, but was exposed to numerous mis-
fortunes on his journey. In his wanderings,
he, with some of his companions, was seized
by the Cyclops, Polyphemus, from whom he
made his escape. Afterward h: was thrown
on the island of ^ea, where he was exposed
to the wiles of the enchantress Circe. Eventu-
ally he was restored to hio own country, after
an absence of twenty years. The adventures
of Ulysses on his return from the Trojan war
form the subject of Homer's Odyssey.
Urania. One of the Muses, daughter of Jupiter
and Mnemosyne. She presided over as-
Valentinia'nus the First. Son of Gratian, raised
to the throne by his merit and valor. He
obtained victories over the Barbarians in Gaul
and in Africa, and punished the Onadi with
severity. He broke a blood-vessel and died,
A.D, 375. Immediately after his death, his
20.2. CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
son, Valentinian the Second, was proclaimed
emperor. He was robbed of his throne by
Maximus, but regained it by the aid of Theo-
dosius, emperor of the East. He was strangled
by one of his officers. He was remarkable for
benevolence and clemency. The third Valen-
tinian was made emperor in his youth, and on
coming to maturer age he disgraced himself
by violence and oppression . He was murdered
Valeria nus, Pub lius Licin ius. A celebrated
Roman emperor, who, on ascending the
throne, lost the virtues he had previously pos-
sessed. He made his son Gallienus his col-
league in the empire. He made war against
the Goths and Scythians. He was defeated
in battle and made prisoner by Sapor, king
of Persia, who put him to death by torture.
Var'ro. A Latin author, celebrated for his great
learning. He wrote no less than five hundred
volumes, but all his works are lost except a
treatise De Re Rustica, and another De Lin-
gua Latina. He died u.c. 28, in his eighty-
Venus. One of the most celebrated deities of the
ancients; the goddess of beauty, and mother
of love. She sprang from the foam of the sea,
and was carried to heaven, where all the gods
admired her beauty. Jupiter gave her in mar-
riage to Vulcan, but she intrigued with some
of the gods, and notal^ly with Mars, their ofif
spring );eing Hermione, Cupid, and Anteros.
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 203
She became enamored of Adoais, which
caused her to abandon Olympus. Her con-
test for the golden apple, which she gained
against her opponents Juno and Minerva, is a
prominent episode in mythology. She had
numerous names applied to her, conspicuous
amongst which may be named Anadyomene,
under which cognomen she is distinguished by
the picture, representing her as rising from
the ocean, by Apelles. She was known under
the Grecian name of Aphrodite.
Vespasia nus, Titus Flavius. A Roman emperor
of obscure descent. He began the siege of
Jerusalem, which was continued by his son
Titus. He died a.d. 79, in his seventieth
Ves ta. A goddess, daughter of Rhea and Saturn.
The Palladium, a celebrated statue of Pallas,
was supposed to be preserved within her
sanctuary, where a fire was kept continually
Vesta les. The Vestals, priestesses consecrated to
the service of Vesta. They were required to
be of good families and free from blemish and
deformity. One of their chief duties was to
see that the sacred fire of Vesta was not ex-
Virgilius, Pub lius Ma ro, called the prince of the
Latin poets, was born at Andes, near Mantua,
about seventy years before Christ. He went
to Rome, where he formed an acquaintance
with Maecenas, and recommended himself to
204 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
Augustus. His Bucolics were written in about
three years, and subsequently he commenced
the Georgics, which is considered one of the
most perfect of all Latin compositions. The
^^neid is supposed to have been undertaken at
the request of Augustus. Virgil died in his
fifty- first year b.c. ig.
Virginia. Daughter of the centurion L. Vir-
ginius. She was slain by her father to save
her from the violence of the decemvir, Appius
Virgin'ius. A valiant Roman father of Virginia.
(See Virginia.) The story of Virginius and
his ill-fated daughter is the subject of the
well-known tragedy of "Virginius," one of
the early productions of J. Sheridan Knowles.
It is rarely performed in the present day.
Vulca'nus. The god who presided over fire, and
who was the patron of those who worked in
iron. According to Homer, he was the son
of Jupiter and Juno, and was so deformed
that at his birth his mother threw him into
the sea, where he remained nine years; but
other writers differ from thi.i opinion. He
married Venus at the instigation of Jupiter.
He is known by the name of Mulciber. The
Cyclopes were his attendants, and with them
he forged the thunderbolts of Jupiter.
Xanthippe or Xantip pe. 'i'he wife of Socrates,
remarkable for her ill humor and fretful dis-
position. She was a constant torment to her
CLASSICAL DTCTTONARV 205
husband, and on one occasion, after bitterly
reviling him, she emptied a vessel of dirty
water on him, on which the philosopher coolly
remarked, "After thunder rain generally
Xenoc'rates. An ancient philosopher born at
('alcedonia, and educated in the school of
Plato, whose friendship he gained. Died B.C.
Xen'ophon. A celebrated Athenian, son of
Gryllus, famous as a general, philosopher,
and historian. He joined Cyrus the Younger
in an expedition against Artaxerxes, king of
Persia, and after the decisive battle of Cunaxa,
in which Cyrus was defeated and killed, the
skill and bravery of Xenophon became con-
spicuous. He had to direct an army of ten
thousand Greeks, who were now more than
six hundred leagues from home, and in a
country surrounded by an active enemy. He
rose superior to all difficulties till the cele-
brated "Retreat of the Ten Thousand" was
effected ; the Greeks returning home after a
march of two hundred and fifteen days.
Xenophon employed his pen in describing the
expedition of Cyrus, in his work the "Ana-
basis." He also wrote the "Cyropaedia."
"Memorabilia." "Hellenica," etc. He died
at Corinth in his ninetieth year, about 360
years before the Christian era.
Xer'xes succeeded his father Darius on the throne
of Persia. He entered Greece with an im-
2o6 CLASSICAL DICTIONARY
mense Army, which was. cliecked at Ther-
mopylas by the valor of three hundred Spar-
tans under king Leonidas, who for three
successive days successfully opposed the
enormous forces of Xerxes, and were at last
slaughtered. From this period the fortunes
of Xerxes waned. His fleet being defeated
at Salamis, and mortified with ill-success, he
hastened to Persia, where he gave himself up
to debauchery, and was murdered in the
twenty-first year of his reign, about 464 years
before the Christian era.
Za ma. A town of Numidia, celebrated as the
scene of the victory of Scipio over Hannibal,
Ze'no, a celebrated philosopher, the founder of
the sect of Stoics, was born at Citium in
Cyprus. He opened a school in Athens, and
soon became noticed by the great and learned.
His life was devoted to sobriety and modera-
tion. He died at the age of ninety-eight,
Ze'no. A philosopher of Elea or Velia, in Italy.
He was the disciple, or, according to some,
the adopted son of Parmenides. Being tor-
tured to cause him to reveal his confederates
in a plot he had engaged in, he bit off his
tongue that he might not betray his friends.
Zeno bia. A celebrated princess of Palmyra, the
wife of Odenatus. After her husband's death,
the Roman emperor Aurelian declared war
CLASSICAL DICTIONARY 207
She took the field ^vith seven
hundred thousand men, and though at first
successful, she was eventually conquered.
Aurelian. when she became his prisoner,
treated her with great humanity and con-
sideration. She was admired for her literary
talents as well as her military abilities.
Zeux'is. A celebrated painter born at Heraclea.
He flourished 46S years before the Christian
era. He painted some grapes so naturally
that the birds came to peck them on the can-
vas; but he was disgusted with the picture,
because the man painted as carrying the
grapes was not natural enough to frighten the
Zo ilus. A sophist and grammarian of Am-
phipolis, B.C. 259. He became known by his
severe criticisms on the works of Isocratesand
Zoroaster. A king of Bactria, supposed to have
lived in the age of Ninus, king of Assyria,
.some time before the Trojan war. He ren-
dered himself known by his deep researches
in philosophy. He admitted no visible object
of devotion except fire, which he considered
the proper emblem of a Supreme Being. He
was respected by his subjects and contem-
poraries for his abilities as a monarch, a law-
giver, and a philosopher, and. though many of
his doctrines may be deemed puerile, he had
many disciples. The religion of the Parsees
of the present day was founded by Zoroaster.
2o8 cF.AssirAi. ivrrioxARV
Zos imus. A Greek historian, ^ bo lived about
the year 410 of the Christian era. He wrote
a history of some of the Roman emperors,
which is characterized by graceful di tion, but
he indulges in malevolent and vicuperativo
attacks on the Christians in his History of
Zos'teria. A surname of Minerva. She had two
statues under that name in the city of Thebes,
in Boeotia. The word signified girt, or armed
for battle, words synonymous among the an-
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By Agnes H. Morton
There is no passport to good society like good
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By Agnes H. Morton
Why do most persons dislike letter writing? Is it
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By Agnes H. Morton
A. clever compilation of pithy quotations, selected
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THINGS WORTH KNOWING
By John H. Bechtel
It is a comparatively easy task to fill a book with
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A DICTIONARY OF MYTHOLOGY
By John ri. Bechtei
The average person dislikes to look up a mytho-
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SLIPS OF SPEECH
By John H. Bechtei
Who does not make them ? Tlie best of us do. Why
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HANDBOOK OF PRONUNCIATION
By John H. Bechtel
What is more disagreeable than a faulty pronuncia-
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By John H. Bechtel
Any one with the least desire to add to his vocabu*
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By William Pittcngcr
Most men dread being called upon to respond to a
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THE DEBATER^S TREASURY
By William ^ittenger
Thore is no greater ability than the power of skillful
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By Paul Allardyce
Few persons can punctuate properly ; to avoid mis-
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It must be conceded that few men ever enjoyed a
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Some people ave accused of talking too much. Btit
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Nothing is more delightful or valuable. To suggest
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READING AS A FINE ART
By Ernest Legouve
rhe ability to read aloud well, whether at the fire-
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Conundrums are intellectual exercises which sharpen
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By Cavendish Twenty-third Edition
*' According to Cavendish " is now almost as familiar
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" What shall we do to amuse ourselves and our
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THE SUN AND HIS FAMILY
By Julia MacNair Wright
Can you tell what causes day and night, seasons and
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THE STORY OF PLANT LIFE
By Tulia MacNair Wright
The scientific study of Botany made as interesting
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HOW TO GROW THEM
By Eben E. Rexford
Every woman loves flowers, but few succeed in grow-
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By Marguerite "Wilson
A complete instructor, beginning with the first
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There is to-day probably no more popular character
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By Paschall H. Coggins, Esq»
IVlost legal difficulties arise from ignorance of the
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By Edward S. Ellis, A. M,
All literature, even the daily papers, abound in classi-
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By Edward S. Ellis, A. M.
All modern biography finds not only its origin but
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There is no more popular outdoor sport than golf.
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By EUis Stanyoo
There is no more delightful form of entertainment
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embraces full and detailed descriptions of all the
well-known tricks with coins, handkerchiefs, billiard
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number of novelties not previously produced ot
explained. Fully illustrated.
By S. Virginia Levis
No household is permanently free from sickness, and
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this valuable work. It is the next best thing to a
trained nurse. The fullest particulars are given for
the care of the sick in all the simple as well as the
serious ailments from childhood to old age.
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